Laval, Canada - June 06,2002

Communique.

On May 7th, Engineer Ramzi Irani was kidnapped while returning home and found executed thirteen days later. Mr. Irani was a pacifist engineer living a normal life with his wife and two young kids. He was known for his opposition to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. He was pacifically demanding the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 520, stipulating the total withdrawal of non-Lebanese armed forces, in the occurrence, the Syrian army and its security services. During his kidnap, the Lebanese government expressed its inability to collect information in order to uncover the kidnappers and save the engineer from being executed. Instead, it went on arresting dozens of civilians known for their political opposition to the government.

On May 27th, another grave threat to the expression freedom occurred through the arbitrary and illegal arrest of Mr. Edmond Khazen, for having distributed flyers criticizing the government’s attitude toward civilians. Mr. Khazen was released after he has been illegally detained for three days. He was subject to interrogation and discrimination because of his political opinions he expressed pacifically.

On June 2nd, and during a partial election in the Metn district, the government heavily interfered by trying to falsify the electoral results in favor of its candidate, the sister of the Interior Minister. This governmental intervention aimed at controlling and alienating the people will, and constitute a clear violation of the main democratic rules based on the people’s right to dispose of their future.

These events, which confiscate the citizens’ rights to live in peace and dignity, to express their opinions and choose their destiny, constitute clear violations of all international laws, especially article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also constitute a serious violation of the Lebanese constitution, which guarantees the right for civil liberties, as well as the freedom of opinion and expression.

Following these grave events, creating an atmosphere of terror among the Lebanese civilians, RCPL urges the Lebanese authorities, as well as the Syrian forces and all other armed non Lebanese groups in Lebanon to respect Human rights and the democratic values. RCPL calls the Lebanese authorities to: 

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Release all political detainees in Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

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Lead an independent, honest, non-biased investigation to uncover the circumstances of the assassination of Engineer Ramzi Irani and bring his assassins to justice.

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Create an independent non-biased committee to investigate the human rights abuses and democracy manipulation in Lebanon.

RCPL also urges the international community, especially the Canadian government to intervene in order to protect the civilians in Lebanon from human rights abuse and from manipulation of the democratic processes, by working to ensure the respect of the Lebanese constitution as well as international resolutions, mainly  UN Security Council Resolution 520 and articles 2, 3 and 5 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

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