Laval, Canada - May 13,2002

Urgent Action Alert ! Please Act.

RCPL "Rassemblement Canadien pour le Liban", a Canadian registered not-for-profit organization, with a mission to promote respect for human rights and democratic values, is monitoring the situation in Lebanon, and reporting the following facts in the past few days:

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Disappearance of the engineer Mr. Ramzi Irani, head of the LF students association in the Lebanese University, in mysterious conditions, on Wednesday 8th of May 2002.

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Bombing of a KFC restaurant in Tripoli wounding one person, on Thursday 9th of May 2002.

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Mass arrests of about 22 members of the Christian opposition parties on Sunday May 12, 2002, including one Belgian citizen Mr. Carlos Keyrouz arrested at Beirut Airport on his way to Brussels.

Remarkably enough, the:

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Whereabouts of Mr. Irani (activist and opposition member), returning home from his office in Hamra, to celebrate his daughter's birthday, still unknown even after more than a week of the mysterious disappearance.

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Security services went into a vague of arbitrary arrests for members of the opposition parties in North Lebanon. These arrests were often without any legitimate mandate. 

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Similar arrests took place on August 2001 for hundreds of intellectuals and students of the opposition parties because of their request to implement UN resolution 520 and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon; people were arrested and beaten for expressing pacifically their political opinions. The current incidents raise many questions and concerns about an eventual similarity between what happened in august 2001 and few days ago, especially that Syrian secret services and non-governmental armed groups, are still sharing power and controlling areas of the country. 

RCPL is concerned about the abuse of civil liberties in Lebanon and the oppression of pacifists especially professionals and intellectuals for their political opinions.
RCPL urges all Human Rights organizations, federal and provincial deputies and parties, ministers and officials to publicly denounce the arbitrary arrests in Lebanon, and interfere quickly with the Lebanese government in Beirut in order to:

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Immediately release all arbitrary detained people.

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Mobilize all governmental institutions to work seriously to know the whereabouts of Mr. Irani, and bring to justice whoever is responsible for any damage that might happen to him. We are concerned about the well being of the missing engineer and we fear methods of tortures being used against him.

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Pressure the authorities to maintain the citizens security in Lebanon, by respecting democratic values and civil liberties guaranteed by the Lebanese constitution, and working towards an exclusive control of the Lebanese territory, disarming non-governmental groups and requesting the implementation of  UN Security Council Resolution 520.  

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Respect the basics of human rights, by abiding torture during interrogations and arrestations, and guaranteeing the detainees the rights for a fair trial in the presence of a lawyer of their choice.

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