Laval, Canada - July 01, 2003

Excessive Human rights abuse-Tragic death of a Lebanese detainee in Syrian jails

Following the death of a Lebanese detained in Syria, Canadian authorities should request the immediate and unconditional release of all Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails.

SOLIDE, a human rights NGO operating in Lebanon, reported on June 19, 2003 that the body of Mr. Hueiss was handed over to his family in a closed box, six days after his death. His family was denied from making an autopsy. He was buried in the middle of the night.

Mr. Hueiss, a Lebanese citizen, was kidnapped and transferred to Syria in 1992 following a traffic accident involving his taxicab and a military Jeep of the 62nd brigade of the Syrian army on the Dhour Shweir-Bolognia road, East of Beirut. Since then, he was illegally detained with no trial and in inhumane conditions. His family was never allowed to visit him. During his years of detention, both Syrian and Lebanese governments kept denying his presence (as well as the presence of all other detainees) in Syrian jails. 

RCPL is deeply concerned about more than 300 Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails. These detainees were all arrested in Lebanon. Syria still denies the presence of other Lebanese in her jails, yet this is the fourth Lebanese detainee whose body is officially expatriated from Syrian jails. 

RCPL once again requests that our Canadian government makes an urgent plea to the governments of Syria and Lebanon, and ask them to respect their international commitments as per the Convention against Torture and the International Declaration of Human Rights. 

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