Lahoud's Regime Infringes on Human Rights
By: Elias Bejjani
We have been bombarded
lately by this question: Why do you oppose General Lahouds regime, although you know
very well that Israel, the USA and Syria want the current status quo in Lebanon to remain
as is? We are advised to abandon opposing stances because its believed that
Washington has imposed General Lahoud in the presidency position against the Syrian will
because he is qualified to liberate Lebanon without bloody confrontations with Syria.
Our simple response was, and still is the same: The regime does not respect the human
rights of its people, and its decision making process is controlled by foreigners.
Our opposing stance stems from solid transparent patriotic convictions, and from
unshakable believe in Human Rights and the right of our people to live with dignity and
freedom. Mr. Lahoud has breached each and every one of them since the Syrian President
appointed him in his new position, in a bizarre unique precedence.
Mr. Lahouds credibility as a president has been seriously questioned since his first
day in office. He proved with no doubt to be Syrias number one man in Lebanon
through all decisions, stances and commitments he adopted to serve Syrias interests.
Mr. Lahoud, in spite of the media aura surrounding him is just another Hrawi, no more, no
less. He might have a different governing style from that of Hrawi due to his military
background, but ultimately both men serve the same master and definitely function in the
same milieu of collaboration and subservience. Lebanons people are not that na´ve,
to be deceived by the way Lahoud is portrayed through the mercenary media. He is not the
savior. He will not liberate Lebanon and will not create the state of law, justice or
equality as false propaganda preaches. He just is a new Hrawi and continuity to the Taef
regime. Mr. Lahouds credibility has been injured from day one in office, and here
are examples delineating this fact:
Re-opening the case of the students who peacefully demonstrated last year in front of the
MTV station in protest of banning the airing of an interview with General Michel Aoun.
Arresting more than fifty university students, lawyers and teachers for distributing a
leaflet issued by the National Congress on the Internet. The leaflet contained an article
by General Aoun addressing the infringements on Human Rights in Lebanon.
Blacking out Mr. Dorry Chamouns visit to Baabda Palace and banning any news in this
regard in all media. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Chamoun changed his opposition stance
lately and jumped on the Taef wagon, but apparently the regime and its regional sponsor
have not accepted his repentance yet.
Not respecting his word in facilitating the return of Ex-president Sheik Amin Jomayal from
exile after making a promise in this regard. Jomayel like Chamoun changed his long-term
opposition stance and publicly supported Lahoud and joined the Taef regime. Jomayel as
published by Beiruts media spoke over the phone with Lahoud and arranged with him
his return procedure. President Jomayel, to brag more about his close relationship with
Lahoud, uncovered to the Middle East Newspaper a phone call he made secretly in 1989 to
congratulate Lahoud for his Syrian appointment as Army Chief.
Charging arbitrarily Minister /Brigadier Issam Abu Jamra with slander for an article he
published in Al-Hayat newspaper. Abou Jamra exposed in his courageous article, the reality
of the fake presidential election and addressed the Syrian occupation to Lebanon.
Giving priority in all the new-old appointed Lahoud regime speeches, commitments and
stances to subservient relations with Syrian and to the ongoing guerrilla war in south
Lebanon sponsored by Syria and Iran. Also tying the fate of Occupied South Lebanon with
that of Syrias occupied Golan Heights.
Not lobbying for the hundreds of innocent Lebanese citizens detained arbitrarily in
Syrias notorious jails for political and religious reasons. The new-old regime is
behaving as if these detainees are not Lebanese, although some of them are soldiers,
priests and patriotic, well-known politicians. The regime is using double standards in its
dealings with the detainee case. One side lobbies, finances and sponsors public and
private campaigns to release the 150 Lebanese detained in South Lebanon and Israel, and on
the other ignores completely the hundreds of detainees in Syria.
Keeping a blind eye to the implementation of the Taef Accord in regards to the withdrawal
of the Syrian army from Lebanon. This withdrawal should have happened seven years ago. The
regime has ignored completely the unneeded presence of the Syrian army in Lebanon,
although the Lebanese army at present is composed of 70 thousand men, well trained,
reasonably equipped and more than capable to maintain security both, on the borders and
inside the country.
Not giving the one million Lebanese citizens living in Diaspora the right to exchange
their identity cards in the countries where they reside. These citizens like myself still
maintain their Lebanese citizenship. We were forced to leave Lebanon during the last 17
years because of the barbaric war waged against our country by foreign powers. The
Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation sent last year an open letter in this regard
through the Lebanese Embassy in Ottawa, to both Ex-Prime Minister Raffic Hariri and
Ex-Foreign Minister Faris Bouise, but with no response. It is worth mentioning that some
newspapers in Lebanon and Diaspora published unconfirmed reports last year stating that
those Lebanese who do not go personally to Lebanon to exchange their identity cards within
ten years will lose their right in the Lebanese citizenship.
Lahoud's regime lost all its credibility when it allowed Syrians to open their own
election polls on the Lebanese soil, and when General Lahoud himself declined from
participating in King Hussein's funeral.
What credibility can the Lahoud regime enjoy when leaders like General Michel Aoun,
Brigadier Issam Abu Jamra, Kamal Chatilla, Minister Edgar Maalouf, Ex-president Amin
Jomayel, Reymod Edde, and hundreds of politicians and citizens are denied the right to
return to their own country while the regime has no legal reasons to keep them in exile.
Lahouds regime credibility has to be gained through actual practices with respect to
laws, regulations, the constitution and the Human Rights International Charter. The Lahoud
regime credibility will never be honored or respected as long as the Syrian occupation
forces impose hegemony on the country and its people.
Long Live Lebanon