Montreal, Canada - July 31, 2003

Help a Canadian citizen arbitrary detained in Lebanon.

This letter was addressed to the Canadian Minister of Foreign affairs M. Bill Graham to ask him to intervene more efficiently to liberate a Canadian citizen illegally arrested in Lebanon.

I’m writing this message in order to express my deep concern about the arrest of a Canadian citizen and his detention for three weeks in Lebanon without any formal charges.

Bruce Balfour, a 52-year-old Calgarian, was arrested upon his arrival to Beirut airport on July 10 along a reforestation project for the Cedars of Lebanon in association with the Maranatha Evangelistic Association He was transferred to Roumieh prison, where family and friends said he was being held without any formal charges.

I consider Mr. Balfour’s arrest arbitrary and illegal, as he has been held secretly without informing the Canadian embassy in Lebanon for more than 10 days, with no contact with his family or lawyer, and as he has been detained for 3 weeks without trial or formal charges.

These facts constitute a severe violation of articles 102 and 103 of the Lebanese Code of Criminal Procedures (CCP), as well as article 9 (2, 4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

I urge you to intervene with the Lebanese authorities in order to immediately release M. Bruce Balfour for fear for his physical and mental degradation, and to make them respect their international commitments as per the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Declaration of Human Rights.

CC: The Right Honorable Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister
Rassemblement Canadien pour le Liban (RCPL)

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