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)