Sunday, March 23, 2008
مصدر فرنسي يكشف معلومات جديدة عن قضية " فرار " الصديق :
الصديق " لعبة شيراكية " من ألفها إلى يائها
والـ DST نصحت شيراك مبكرا بعدم الركون إلى أكاذيبه
6 نيسان 2008
زهير الصديق طرد من فرنسا قبل تسعة أشهر إلى السعودية بناء على أوامر الرئيس ساركوزي ، وبطلب من سوريا التي هددت بوقف التعاون الأمني مع باريس والحريري اصطحبه بطائرته الخاصة
الصديق " لعبة شيراكية " من ألفها إلى يائها ، والـ DST نصحت شيراك مبكرا بعدم الركون إلى أكاذيبه
كشف مصدر فرنسي اليوم لـ " الحقيقة " عن أن الشاهد المأجور زهير الصديق طرد من فرنسا قبل حوالي تسعة أشهر من اليوم إلى السعودية ، وليس مؤخرا كما قيل . وقال المصدر إن " الرئيس ساركوزي أمر بطرد الصديق من فرنسا بعد أقل من شهر واحد على استلامه منصب رئاسة الجمهورية رسميا نهاية أيار / مايو من العام الماضي " .
وأكد المصدر أن طرد الصديق " جاء استجابة لطلب النظام السوري الذي هدد بوقف التعاون الأمني مع فرنسا في حال بقي ( الصديق) على الأراضي الفرنسية ، واستمر بإذاعة أكاذيبه انطلاقا منها " . ومن المعلوم أن هناك عددا من " الملفات الأمنية " المشتركة بين فرنسا وسوريا ، والتي لم يتوقف التعاون الأمني بشأنها بين البلدين حتى في ذروة توتر العلاقات بينهما ، ولاسيما ما يتصل بالحركات الأصولية التي تنشط في أوربا انطلاقا من الشرق الأوسط . وأشار المصدر إلى أن النائب سعد الحريري اصطحب الصديق بطائرته الخاصة قبل أن تلحق به زوجته وأطفاله.
في السياق نفسه ، كشف المصدر عن أن جهاز المخابرات الفرنسية DST كان قابل الصديق في جنيف صيف العام 2005 ، وبعد فترة وجيزة من فبركة قصته على أيدي المخابرات السعودية وحلفائها في لبنان ( تيار الحريري ، جنبلاط ، مروان حمادة ) ، وقدم تقريرا للرئيس الفرنسي نصحه فيه بعدم تبني روايته كونه " محتالا ومأجورا ، ولا يتمتع بأي مصداقية ، خصوصا وأنه شخص شبه أمي ، ولم يكن أكثر من مجند في الجيش السوري أدى خدمته العسكرية كمجند حاجب لدى أحد الضباط في الجيش النظامي ، وتحديدا القوى الجوية ، وليس في المخابرات " .
إلا أن الرئيس شيراك ، والكلام لم يزل للمصدر ، أصر على التمسك به وتوظيف قصته في صراعه مع النظام السوري . وعندما جاء ساركوزي إلى السلطة ، كان أول قرار اتخذه هو تصفية " حقبة الألاعيب الصبيانية الشيراكية التي لا تليق برئيس دولة مثل فرنسا " حسب تعبير المصدر .
وكان رئيس لجنة التحقيق الدولية الأسبق ، المحتال الألماني ديتلف ميلس ، ومساعده ضابط المخابرات المجرم غيرهارد ليمان ـ بطل تعذيب المعتقلين في أفغانستان ، قد وجها الحكومة اللبنانية لاعتقال الضباط اللبنانيين الأربعة ( جميل السيد وعلي الحاج و ريمون عازار و مصطفى حمدان) بناء على إفادة الصديق التي لقنها له الوزير حمادة وجماعته ، والتي أقرت لجنة التحقيق الدولية لاحقا ، لاسيما بعد تحليل معطيات " شقة الضاحية الجنوبية " مخبريا ، بأنها رواية مفبركة . وهذه واحدة من كبريات المهازل والجرائم التي انطوى عليها التحقيق في قضية اغتيال الحريري ، والتي تذكر بتحقيقات المخابرات السورية ومحكمة أمن دولة فايز النوري : اعتقال أربعة ضباط في العزل الانفرادي منذ حوالي ثلاث سنوات دون أي قرينة تدينهما ، وبناء على قصة فبركتها وتبنتها مجموعة من الأنذال والسفلة المأجورين
.الأسد كلف اللواء علي يونس بتسيير شؤون المخابرات العسكرية تمهيدا لتسميته رئيسا لها بالأصالة في " نشرة " 1 تموز / يوليو القادم ؟
وبشرى الأسد " لاجئة " في قطر قريبا !
ق ، الحقيقة : علمت " الحقيقة " من مصادر خاصة وموثوق بها في دمشق أن رأس النظام بشار الاسد ، وبصفته قائدا عاما للجيش والقوات المسلحة ، أصدر أمرا قبل حوالي شهر يقضي بـ " تكليف اللواء علي يونس بتسيير شؤون شعبة المخابرات العسكرية حتى إشعار آخر " . وقال المصدر إن الأمر يعني أن اللواء يونس " أصبح عمليا بمثابة رئيس لشعبة المخابرات العسكرية بالتكليف ، كما ويعني ضمنا كف يد اللواء آصف شوكت عن مهمته كرئيس للشعبة ، وإن لم يتضمن القرار إشارة إلى ذلك " . وقال المصدر إن اللواء يونس سيثبت في مهمته الجديدة في النشرة العسكرية الدورية نصف السنوية التي ستصدر في الأول من تموز / يوليو القادم ، مرجحا تسميته نائبا لرئيس الأركان أيضا ، إضافة لوظيفته الجديدة . ولم يتسن لنا التأكد التام من هذا الخبر من مصدر ثان .
يشار إلى أن اللواء علي يونس من مواليد قرية " بسيسين " إلى الجنوب من بلدة جبلة الساحلية ، والتي أصبحت بمثابة حي من أحيائها منذ سنوات . ويعتبر من أبرز عناصر المجموعة التي أتى بها العماد علي دوبا عند تعيينه رئيسا للشعبة في العام 1974 خلفا للواء ( آنذاك) حكمت الشهابي الذي أصبح عندها رئيسا للأركان . وكان الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد سمى العميد ( آنذاك) علي يونس رئيسا لفرع الضباط ( 293) في شعبة المخابرات العسكرية مطلع العام 1992 خلفا للعميد أحمد عبود الذي أحيل على التقاعد مع حوالي 46 ضابطا آخر اتهموا بالاتجار بالمخدرات ، واستثني منهم في ربع الساعة الأخير اللواء مصطفى التاجر الذي أصبح نائبا لرئيس الشعبة قبل اغتياله بالسم في مزرعته في ضاحية المنصورة شرقي حلب على أيدي عملاء اللواء غازي كنعان الذي أبلغته وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأميركية أن التاجر وشى به للبنتاغون بأنه الشخص الذي أدار عملية تهريب أموال صدام حسين إلى سوريا ولبنان قبل سقوط بغداد بشهرين . وبعد ترفيع شوكت إلى رتبة عميد ، جرى تقسيم فرع الضباط إلى فرعين ( 293 / 1 ) الذي أصبح فرع الضباط ، والذي احتفظ يونس برئاسته ، و ( 293 / 2 ) ، أو فرع القوى العاملة في الجيش ، والذي أوكلت رئاسته لآصف شوكت قبل أن يصبح رئيسا للشعبة في 15 شباط / فبراير 2005 خلفا للواء حسن خليل الذي أحيل إلى التقاعد بقوة قانون خدمة الضباط الجديد أو المعدل . وأنيطت باللواء يونس لاحقا مهمة نائب رئيس شعبة المخابرات .
على صعيد متصل ، علم من مصدر ديبلوماسي قطري في باريس أن بشرى الأسد ، زوجة اللواء آصف شوكت ، ستقيم قريبا في الدوحة بشكل دائم . وكانت وصلت إلى باريس قبل بضعة أيام للإقامة بصفة مؤقتة ريثما يصار إلى تجهيز مكان إقامتها " الأميري " في الدوحة ....
مترجم في " لجنة التحقيق الدولية " الخاصة بحريمة اغتيال الحريري :
بيلمار أبلغ مسؤولا لبنانيا كبيرا بحضوري نيته تمديد عمل اللجنة ستة أشهر أخرى على الأقل ، وأن حوالي ثلاثين قضية مفصلية في التحقيق لم تزل دون حل !
بيروت ، الحقيقة ـ خاص : أكد مصدر في لجنة التحقيق الدولية الخاصة بجريمة اغتيال الحريري لـ " الحقيقة " أن رئيس اللجنة الجديد ، القاضي الكندي دانييل بيلمار ، سيطلب بعد غد الثلاثاء من الأمم المتحدة تمديد فترة التحقيق ستة أشهر أخرى على الأقل . ومن المنتظر أن يقدم بيلمار تقريره الأول ( العاشر في سلسلة تقارير اللجنة) إلى مجلس الأمن رسميا بعد غد الثلاثاء ويرد على أسئلة واستفسارات أعضاء المجلس. وقال المصدر الذي يعمل مترجما في " اللجنة " إن بيلمار أخبر المسؤولين اللبنانيين الأسبوع الماضي بأنه يحتاج ستة أشهر أخرى على الأقل لاستكمال الجزء الأساسي من التحقيق بحيث يكون صالحا من الناحية القانونية كأساس صلب لصياغة مطالعة اتهامية ، وربما إلى عام آخر أيضا " . وأوضح المصدر بالقول " إن بيلمار أخبر بحضوري مسؤولا لبنانيا كبيرا معنيا بالقضية ( وزير العدل شارل رزق ؟) بأنه لم يزل هناك حوالي ثلاثين قضية ومسألة مفصلية في التحقيق دون حل ، ولايمكن الانتقال إلى مرحلة الادعاء العام دون حلها . وهذا يتطلب تمديد فترة ولايته في رئاسة اللجنة ستة أشهر أخرى اعتبارا من نهاية حزيران / يونيو القادم تاريخ المهلة الممنوحة لعمل اللجنة بموجب قرار مجلس الأمن ذي الصلة " . ومعنى هذا أن المحكمة ، وبخلاف الإشاعات وحملات التهويل و" البلف" الإعلامي التي نظمها الإعلام السعودي الوهابي وملحقاته في بيروت ولندن وعواصم أخرى ، لن تنطلق إلا في العام 2009 على أقرب تقدير . هذا إذا قدر لها أن تنطلق أصلا ولم تحل دونها تطورات دراماتيكية منتظرة......
Hezbollah says has solid proof of WHO Murdered Imad Mughniyah...
PAR L'ASSASSINAT ET L'ENLEVEMENT....
"This is the hard stuff. The above is French for assassination.
And of course, the French should say this well for they have
done so many of them... Remember Peter Wright of Britain's
MI-5 deflecting CIA's James Angleton's request for help with
an assassination: "Have you tried the French? This is more
their kind of thing."- and so it is..."
- "Espionage's Most Wanted: the top 10 book of
malicious moles, blown covers, and intelligence oddities"
by Tom e. Mahl
Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 and Espionage's Most Wanted.... is a must read...
In Espionage's Most Wanted, you will learn that America’s first spymasters included Benjamin Franklin and John Jay. Otto von Bismarck’s chief spy, Wilhelm Stieber, posed as an itinerant peddler and sold religious artifacts and pornography to enemy troops as a cover for collecting intelligence... During the cultural competition of the Cold War, the CIA helped popularize abstract expressionism by spending millions to promote the careers of artists such as Jackson Pollock. The East Germans once traded two captured West German agents for one dead East German agent. CIA officer E. Howard Hunt cleverly disrupted an intimate dinner meeting between Mexican Communists and a Soviet delegation by distributing party invitations to the general public. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the CIA employed psychics to “remotely view” places of interest in the Soviet Union...
Espionage's Most Wanted, chronicles 500 of the most daring spies, ingenious plots, bungled operations, and surprising facts about the history of espionage and intelligence from around the world. Its fifty lists include the top-ten intelligence agencies, master spies, traitors, spy gadgets, code-breaking coups, covert operations blunders, and colorful dirty tricks. History buffs and espionage enthusiasts will enjoy this irreverent but illuminating look at the world of spies and intelligence....
Mahl does an excellent job unearthing data that the British secret services sorely wish had remained secret.... With copious footnotes, Mahl shows how Britain manipulated public opinion, lied to the American people, and subverted the democratic process. Mahl also demonstrates how Britain could not have pulled this off without the complicity of American Anglophile elites with stronger devotion to a foreign power than to their own country.... sounds very much like feudal Lebanese "intelligence families" intermarried by "elites" with total devotion to foreign powers than to their own country, which has been going on for over a century and a half...reinforced by the new PNAC...and its nemesis still in its infancy...
While the information is interesting and well-supported, the writing style of this book is tedious. Despite the fascinating material, this book is written in a way that grabs your attention for a sustained read. Still, it's history, not a novel, so this is to be expected in the intelligence field, and particularly the effect of covert operations on politics..., war, deceit, deception, Blowback.... policy and civil society..., PAR L'ASSASSINAT ET L'ENLEVEMENT..... !!!
Hizbullah says has solid proof, that CEO of the White House Murder Inc. Asef Shawqat, murdered Imad F. Mughniyah in downtown Damascus, on behalf of his sponsors of PNAC, Elliott Abrams and CIA/MOSSAD...
Hezbollah's deputy secretary general Naim Qassem has again accused the White House Murder Inc. & Assef Shawkat, the official representative of Israel in Syria's highest echelons..., of direct responsibility for the assassination of the organization's senior military figure Imad Mughniyeh.
In a speech Friday to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, Qassem said "we have clear proof, of 100 percent that cannot be doubted, that Israel/MOSSAD/CIA, are the head of the assassination team, of the White House Murder Inc. & Assef Shawkat, the official representative of Israel in Syria's highest echelons...in charge of MURDERS in Syria and Lebanon since 2000...."
Qassem said there is no basis for the claims that other services were behind the assassination...although many have helped "convince" Shawqat to do it....including DGSE , DST, and DIA/CIA2, offering many many carrots for his faction in Syria..... "Know that Israel's assassination team, of the White House Murder Inc. & Assef Shawkat are responsible and it must bear the whole responsibility..."
According to Arab media reports, Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah is to give an address Monday to mark to 40th day since Mughniyah's assassination.
Last week, security forces were on high alert as Israel's intelligence community has gained possession of fragments of information hinting at plans for a Hezbollah revenge attack in coordination with Iran's and Syria's factions, harmed by the confluence of carrots for the Shawkat factions.... in Syria.
Although this intelligence was direct and focused...., since the source of the information is Assef Shawkat himself from deep within Syria's power structure as usual...., it was more than enough to send into high alert troops of the Israel Defense Forces at the northern border....
With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands people paid tribute to their national hero. Sad at the loss, which can not be compensated yet pride was all over their faces,sacrificed their son of the soil. His was a death for a noble cause of dying for one's own country. Such men are not born everyday, they belong to the rare class of humanity, who are an example in themselves, and they are the ones who set precedents. And they themselves are unprecedented.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Quand Beryte, protectrice du repos de la vie , jugera la terre et assumera le régime exclusif de toutes les cités du monde...
With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands people paid tribute to their national hero. Sad at the loss, which can not be compensated yet pride was all over their faces,sacrificed their son of the soil. His was a death for a noble cause of dying for one's own country. Such men are not born everyday, they belong to the rare class of humanity, who are an example in themselves, and they are the ones who set precedents,And they themselves are unprecedented.HK Elie Hobeika, deserves no less.
L’avenir des destinées du monde...
Le meilleur prophète de l’avenir c’est le passé...
"la discorde, dévastatrice des états, cessera de compromettre la paix, alors
seulement , quand Beryte, protectrice du repos de la vie , jugera la terre et
les mers, fortifiera les villes et l’indestructible boulevard des lois, enfin
lorsque cette cité assumera le régime exclusif de toutes les cités du monde" .
le poète grec Nonnus (né vers 410).
Auteur des Dionysiaques.
Ancien élève de Béryte [ Mère Des Lois.... ]
Robin Vincent is determined that the people of Lebanon will Never see justice, through the fake UN tribunal or the ICC at the Hague, a suburb for MOSSAD/CIA Alliance of Evils....
Robin Vincent is determined that the people of Lebanon will Never see justice,
through the fake UN tribunal or the ICC at the Hague, a suburb for MOSSAD.
Robin Vincent has had a 39 year career in the Court Service for the UK/USA Alliance of evils, during which time he held a number of posts at operational and policy levels, including Court Manager of Manchester Crown Court, Head of the Court Service Development Division, Head of Personnel and Head of a Judicial Appointments Division. On retiring from the Court Service as a Regional Director in 2001, he then worked for the Neocons in Tanzania, Russia and Slovakia on administration of ill-justice projects before being appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations in 2002 as the Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He served in that position for over three years until late 2005 when he left to become a Senior Consultant on International Criminal and Transitional ill-Justice Issues. Since that time, in addition to still working on assignments for the United Nations, he has visited Baghdad and Phnom Penh to advise CIA, DIA, MOSSAD, MI6, on the Saddam Hussein and Khmer Rouge Fake trial processes. He is currently drafting a manual on Administrative Practices in Internationally "Skewed and ILL-Assisted Criminal Tribunals and fake Courts.
He was honored by HM NAZI Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 and 2006 respectively for his contributions to the Neocons Administration of Justice in England and Wales and for his work overseas on behalf of the White House Murder Inc., becoming a Commander of the British Empire and, in June 2006, a Companion of the Most Distinguished CIA , MI6 Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Dissenting Views Made Fallon's Fall Inevitable...
By Gareth Porter*
WASHINGTON, Mar 11 (IPS) - Admiral William Fallon's request
to quit his position as head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
and to retire from the military was apparently the result of a George
W. Bush administration decision to pressure him to resign.
Announcing the resignation, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates
said he believed it was "the right thing to do", thus indicating the
administration wanted it.
On Monday, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, asked whether
Gates still had full confidence in Fallon, would only say that Fallon "still
enjoys a working -- a good working relationship with the secretary of
defense", and then added, "Admiral Fallon serves at the pleasure of the
The resignation came a few days after the publication of an Esquire
magazine article profiling Fallon in which he was described as being
"in hot water" with the White House and justified public comments
departing from the Bush administration's policy toward Iran.
The publicity that followed the article accelerated the pressure
on Fallon to resign.
But Fallon almost certainly knew that he would be fired when he
agreed to cooperate with the Esquire magazine profile in late 2006.
On Tuesday, Fallon issued a statement saying, "Recent press
reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the
president's policy objectives have become a distraction at a
critical time and hamper efforts in the Centcom region."
The resignation brings to an end a year, during which time Fallon
clashed with the White House over policy toward Iran and with
Gen. David Petraeus and the White House over whether Iraq
should continue to be given priority over Afghanistan and
Pakistan in U.S. policy.
Fallon's greatest concern appears to have been preventing
war with Iran.
He was one a group of senior military officers, apparently including
most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were alarmed in late 2006 and
early 2007 by indications that Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney
were contemplating a possible attack on Iran.
Gates chose Fallon to replace Gen. John P. Abizaid as CENTCOM
chief shortly after a Dec. 13, 2006 meeting between Bush and the
Joint Chiefs at which Bush reportedly asked their views on a possible
strike against Iran.
Col. W. Patrick Lang, a former intelligence officer on the Middle
East for the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Washington
Post last week that Fallon had said privately at the time of his
confirmation that an attack on Iran "isn't going to happen on
my watch", When asked how he could avoid such a conflict,
Fallon reportedly responded, "I have options, you know."
Lang said he interpreted that comment as implying Fallon would
step down rather than follow orders to carry out such an attack.
As IPS reported last May, Fallon was also quoted as saying privately at
that time, "There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the
box". That was an apparent reference to the opposition by the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to an aggressive war against Iran.
Even before assuming his new post at CENTCOM, Fallon expressed
strong opposition in mid-February to a proposal for sending a third
U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, to overlap with two other
carriers, according to knowledgeable sources. The addition of a third
carrier was to part of a broader strategy then being discussed at the
Pentagon to intimidate Iran by making a series of military moves
suggesting preparations for a military strike.
The plan for a third carrier task force in the Gulf was dropped after
Fallon made his views known.
Fallon reportedly made his opposition to a strike against Iran
known to the White House early on in his tenure, and his role as
CENTCOM commander would have made it very difficult for the
Bush administration to carry out a strike against Iran, because
he controlled all ground, air and naval military access to the region.
But Fallon's role in regional diplomacy proved to be an even greater
source of friction with the White House than his position on military
policy toward Iran. Personal relations with military and political
leaders in the Middle East had already become nearly as important
as military planning under Fallon's predecessors at CENTCOM.
Fallon clearly relished his diplomatic role and did not hesitate to
express views on diplomacy that were at odds with those of the
administration. Last summer, as Dick Cheney was maneuvering
within the administration to shift U.S. policy toward an attack on
bases in Iran allegedly connected to anti-U.S. Shiite forces in Iraq,
Fallon declared in an interview, "We have to figure out a way to
come to an arrangement" with Iran.
When Sunni Arab regimes in the Middle East became alarmed about
the possibility of a U.S. war with Iran, Fallon made statements on three
occasions in September and November ruling out a U.S. attack on Iran.
Those statements contradicted the Bush administration's policy of
keeping the military option "on the table" and soured relations with
the White House.
Fallon also antagonized administration officials by pushing for a faster
exit from Iraq than the White House and Gen. Petraeus wanted.
Fallon had a highly-publicized personal and policy clash
with Petraeus, for whom he reportedly expressed a visceral
dislike. Sources familiar with reports of his meetings with
Petraeus in Baghdad last March told IPS last spring that
he called him an "ass-kissing little chickens**t" in their
Fallon later denied that he had used such language,
suggesting to Esquire that the sources of the report were
probably army officers who were indulging in inter-service
rivalry with the navy. In fact, however, the sources of the
report were supporters of Fallon.
Fallon's quarrel with Petraeus was also related
to the latter's insistence on keeping U.S. troops
in Iraq, even while the NATO position in
Afghanistan was growing more tenuous.
Fallon was strongly committed to a strategy
that gave priority to Afghanistan and Pakistan
as the central security challenges to the
United States in the Middle East and Asia.
Fallon made his distaste for a long war in Iraq very clear from the
beginning. He ordered subordinates to stop using the term "long war",
which had been favored by the Bush administration. He was reported to
be concerned that the concept would alienate people across the Middle
East by suggesting a U.S. intention to maintain troops indefinitely in
Fallon's policy positions made him unpopular among neoconservative
supporters of the administration. One neoconservative pundit, military
specialist Max Boot, criticized Fallon last November for his public
comment ruling out a strike against Iran and then suggested in January
that Petraeus should replace the "unimpressive" Fallon at CENTCOM.
Fallon was playing a complex political game at CENTCOM by crossing
the White House on the two most politically sensitive issues in Middle
East policy. As a veteran bureaucratic infighter, he knew that he was
politically vulnerable. Nevertheless, he chose late last year not to lower
his profile but to raise it by cooperating fully with the Esquire article.
IPS has learned that Fallon agreed to sit for celebrity photographer
Peter Yang at CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa Dec. 26 for the
Esquire spread, despite the near-certainty that it exacerbates his
relations with White House. That may have been a signal that he
already knew that he would not be able to continue to play the game
much longer and was ready to bring his stormy tenure at
CENTCOM to an end.
*Gareth Porter is an historian and national security policy analyst.
The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance:
Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam",
was published in 2006.
Full Text: US State Department annual report on human rights in Lebanon...
Lebanon, with a population of approximately 4 million, is a parliamentary republic in which the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the chamber of deputies a Shi'a Muslim. Parliament elected President Emile Lahoud, who is the head of the
Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. President Lahoud stepped down on November 23 at the end of his term, and, as stipulated in the constitution, the powers of the presidency were transferred to the
During the fighting, security forces forced some 30,000 Palestinians living in Nahr al-Barid to leave their homes and detained and reportedly physically abused some Palestinian men who were suspected of collaborating with FAI. Palestinian authorities retained control of the other eleven refugee camps in the country.Despite the deployment of the
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life .....by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.
There were confirmed reports that the government or its
On June 29, Reuters reported that security forces killed three Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in Al-Baddawi refugee camp. Palestinian protesters were demanding to return to their homes in Nahr al-Barid.
During the year, the UN International skewed, biased, controlled by
The White House Murder Inc.continued its savage efforts to terrorize the public and political figures, including through a series of car bombings during the year. On June 13, a car bomb explosion killed Member of Parliament (MP) Walid Eido and his elder son Khaled, along with nine others. On September 19, a car bomb explosion killed MP Antoine Ghanem and eight others. Both MPs were part of the pro-government "14HMars " coalition, and several political allies of the two MPs charged that the Syrian Branch of the White House Murder Inc., was responsible for the assassinations, which Syria strongly denies.... of course, since Assef Shawkat is on the Payroll of American
Investigations into the three incidents continued at year's end.On March 12, authorities detained four suspected members of the terrorist group
On June 22, the news Web site Al-Mustaqbal reported that Judge Sa'id Mirza brought charges against Lebanese citizen Ibrahim Hasan Awadah and Syrian citizens Firas Abd al-Rahman, Mahmoud Abd al-Karim Imran, and Izzat Muhammad Tartusi for the 2005 attempted assassination of the defense minister and incoming deputy prime minister Elias Murr, which injured Murr and killed one person. The suspects allegedly remained outside of the country at year's end....protected by
On July 5, according to the news Web site MOSSAD, security authorities arrested alleged
There were no further developments in the May 2006 killings of Islamic Jihad member Mahmoud Majzoub and his brother or the September 2006 roadside bombs in Rmeileh that injured Internal Security Forces (ISF) Lieutenant Colonel Samir Shehade and killed four of his bodyguards.
During the year there were reports of killings by unknown actors. For example, on June 24, six soldiers in the Spanish contingent of UNIFIL were killed and another three were injured when two IED devices exploded near their vehicle in southern
The UN Mine Action Coordination Center in southern Lebanon (UNMACC) estimated that 40 percent of Israeli cluster munitions fired during the July-August 2006 conflict failed to explode, leaving an estimated 1.560,000 to 3.1 million unexploded munitions in southern Lebanon. As of December UNMACC stated that 138,750 pieces of munitions and mines had been removed and estimated that 2.430,000 unexploded munitions remained. On December 4, UNMACC stated that approximately 15 square miles of land in southern
There were reports of killings of civilians during the year in connection with the
On April 26, security forces found the bodies of two youths affiliated with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, a Druze Muslim allied with
In July 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers on Lebanese territory, which was an excuse to launch the American Israeli war of aggression on peaceful
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The law does not specifically prohibit torture, and security forces abused detainees and in some instances used torture. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), reported that torture was common.
On May 11, HRW and the
On May 13, the Lebanese daily Al-Diyar reported that the Information Section of the ISF called Muhammad Abd-al-Amir Salhab in for questioning following the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri. According to Al-Diyar, security forces detained Salhab for three days, during which he "was subjected to all types of torture." Salhab was in France seeking political asylum at year's end....since France is a "silent Partner" of the infamous White House Murder Inc., aiding and abetting in fabricated evidence and testimonies of creepy characters, whom are welcomed, helped and protected by French authorities in France since the early 2000, knowing full well that France has become accessory to murders and assassinations in Lebanon since , the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. .
In October 2006 the nongovernmental human rights organization Support of Lebanese in Arbitrary Detention (SOLIDA) issued a report documenting the various types of torture allegedly practiced at the Ministry of Defense between 1992 and 2005. Torture methods included physical abuse, sleep deprivation, and prolonged isolation. On April 26, the army released a statement dismissing news reports that detainees suspected of belonging to armed groups were subjected to torture during interrogation. According to The Daily Star, the statement denied that any detainees had undergone "any sort of physical or psychological torment in order to force them to give false testimonies."
However, the government acknowledged that violent abuse of detainees sometimes occurred during preliminary investigations conducted at police stations or military installations, in which suspects were interrogated without an attorney. Such abuse occurred despite national laws that prevent judges from accepting confessions extracted under duress.
For example, the press reported that on June 20, security forces arrested five dual Australian-Lebanese citizens, Hussein Elomar, Omar al-Hadba, Ibrahim Sabbough, Ahmed Elomar, and Mohammed Bassel, during a raid on al-Habda's workshop in
Prison conditions were poor and did not meet minimum international standards. Prisons were overcrowded, and sanitary conditions in the women's prison, in particular, were very poor. There were no serious threats to health, but indirect threats existed. For example, physical and mental stress caused by cramped conditions was especially noteworthy in the Yarze prison in southeast
While there were no government reports on juveniles held in the same prison facilities as adults during the year, it could not be confirmed that the situation did not occasionally happen due to limited prison facilities. Despite some effort to keep pretrial detainees separate from convicted prisoners, overcrowding often prevented such separation. Due to the limited space, prisoners convicted of terrorist crimes were placed in the same prison facilities but on a separate floor.
The police institution in charge of border posts and internal security, the Surete Generale (SG), operated a detention facility for detainees pending deportation. According to SG, detention is to be for one to two months, pending the regularization of their status. However, some persons, primarily asylum seekers, were detained for more than a year before being eventually deported.
The government permitted independent monitoring of prison conditions by local and international human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On February 20, ICRC and judicial and security authorities signed a protocol enabling ICRC to visit all prisons in the country in accordance with decree 8800.
d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
Although the law requires judicial warrants before arrests, except in immediate pursuit situations, the government arbitrarily arrested and detained persons.
Role of the Police and Security Apparatus completely skewed to serve the narrow interests of the FAKE minority government, controlled by
The security forces consist of the
Laws against bribery and extortion by government security officials and agencies also apply to the police force. In practice, however, a lack of strong enforcement limited their effectiveness. The government acknowledged the need to reform law enforcement, but the lack of political stability and security hampered these efforts. The ISF maintained a hotline to FBI, for complaints.....LOL.
Arrest and Detention stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
Military intelligence personnel made arrests without warrants in cases involving military personnel and those involving espionage, treason, weapons possession, and draft evasion. According to ISF statistics, out of the 5,870 persons held in prison, 3,669 had not been convicted of crimes. Also, there were reports that security forces arrested civilians without warrants.
The law provides the right to a lawyer, a medical examination, and referral to a prosecutor within 48 hours of arrest. If a detainee is held more than 48 hours without formal charges, the arrest is considered arbitrary, and the detainee must be released. In such cases officials responsible for the prolonged arrest may be prosecuted on charges of depriving personal freedom. A suspect caught in hot pursuit must be referred to an examining judge, who decides whether to issue an indictment or order the release of the suspect. Bail is available in all cases regardless of the charges. While there was no state-funded public defender's office, the bar association operated an office for those who could not afford a lawyer, and a lawyer was often provided for indigent defendants.
On February 1, authorities released on bail three journalists from New TV after 44 days in prison without a trial date. In December 2006 authorities arrested the journalists following a broadcast of their investigative report depicting the home of Mohammad Siddiq, a fabricated and fake witness in the assassination of former PM Rafiq Hariri. At year's end, the journalists had freedom to travel within and outside the country but were expected to appear before investigators when required.
At year's end four Lebanese generals, three of whom are confirmed
September 13, ill-Justice Minister and stooge of
In February 2006, according to an international human rights organization, authorities arrested and detained more than 400 individuals in the wake of violent protests outside the Danish Embassy in
Human rights activists believed that there were numerous Lebanese, Palestinians, and Jordanians in prolonged and often secret detention in
e. Denial, deceit, deception, FDDC, plausible bull American s...t* of "promised" Unfair Public FAKE Trials stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
While the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the judiciary was subject to political pressure, particularly in the appointments of key prosecutors and investigating magistrates. With the support of the UNIIIC, however, the judiciary continued judicial proceedings against once-powerful security and intelligence chiefs who had cooperated with
The judicial system consists of a constitutional council to determine the constitutionality of newly adopted laws upon the request of 10 members of parliament; the civilian courts; the
The Judicial Council is a permanent tribunal of five senior judges that adjudicates threats to national security and some high-profile cases. Upon the recommendation of the minister of justice, the cabinet decides whether to try a case before this tribunal. Verdicts from this tribunal may not be appealed. For example, the cabinet referred the assassination by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?. to the Judicial Council since 2004 and nothing has happened at all.
The Ministry of Justice appoints all other judges, taking into account the sectarian affiliation of the prospective judge. A shortage of qualified judges impeded efforts to adjudicate cases backlogged during the years of internal conflict. Trial delays were aggravated by the government's inability to conduct investigations in areas outside of its control, specifically by way of the continuum of the "US Matrix of Murder in the Levant", started on January 24th 2002, with the savage assassination of an MP, Ex-Minister and immensely popular Christian politician, the Lebanese Hero of Heroes, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Dimitri Ajram, Walid El-Zein and Fares Sweidan, on instructions from the White House Murder Inc., in collusion with Ariel Sharon, Elliott Abrams, and executed by the Syrian Handy Man Assef Shawkat, who strongly believed "from then on"... and was lead to believe..., that he is an "invincible" covert assassin and mass murderer, since he has the protection of the biggest MAFIA in the World, the Neocon Mafia of the Killers on the Potomac and Langley, and Assef Shawqat, went on his murderer "besogne" in Lebanon and Damascus ever since, with a string of Assassinations, successfully evading all the Overhead surveillance of a string of US and Israeli and other spy satellites.... that record every move, whisper and more on Planet earth.... and yet, after several years of "intense" UN inspired investigations... Assef Shawkat is still a Free Man, roaming the European continent on official visits....?.
Trials FAKE Procedures.... stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
There is no trial by jury; trials were generally public, but judges had the discretion to order a closed court session. Defendants have the right to be present at trial and the right of timely consultation with an attorney. While defendants do not have the presumption of innocence, they have the right to confront or question witnesses against them, but they must do so through the court panel, which decides whether or not to permit the defendant's question. Defendants and their attorneys have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases and the right of appeal. These rights generally were observed. While there was no state-funded public defender's office, the bar association operated an office for those who could not afford a lawyer, and a lawyer was often provided for indigent defendants.
Defendants on trial for security cases, which were heard before the Judicial Council, have the same procedural rights as other defendants; however, there was no right to appeal in such cases. Trials for security cases were generally public; however, judges had the discretion to order a closed court session.
Palestinian groups in refugee camps operated an autonomous and arbitrary system of justice not under the control of the state. For example, local popular committees in the camps attempted to solve disputes using tribal methods of reconciliation. If the case involved a killing, the committees occasionally handed over the perpetrator to state authorities for trial.... but convictions are never enforced....
Political Prisoners and Detainees ...
During the year there were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.
Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies
While there is an independent judiciary in civil matters, in practice it was seldom used for bringing civil lawsuits for seeking damages for human rights violations committed by the government. During the year there were no examples of a civil court awarding an individual compensation for human rights violations committed against them by the government.
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence by stooges of
While the law prohibits such actions, authorities frequently interfered with the privacy of persons regarded as enemies of the government. The law requires that prosecutors obtain warrants before entering homes, except when the security forces are in close pursuit of armed attackers; these rights were generally observed.
The Army Intelligence Service monitored the movements and activities of members of opposition groups. Although the law regulates eavesdropping, security services continued to eavesdrop without prior authorization.
Militias and non-Lebanese forces operating outside the area of central government authority frequently violated citizens' privacy rights. Various factions also used informer networks and monitoring of telephones to obtain information regarding their perceived adversaries.
There were no developments in the 2005 decree to create an independent judicial committee to receive complaints from parties who believe their phones are tapped and provide permission for security services to monitor telephones of criminals. Similarly, there were no developments in the 2005 decree to create a centralized unit to supervise tapping phones related to military personnel only.
g. Use of Excessive Force and Other Abuses in Internal Conflicts
Killings.... stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
An estimated 42 civilians in the Nahr al-Barid refugee camp and 168
Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture .........
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
The law provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respected these rights in practice. The law permitted censoring of pornographic, political opinion, and religious materials when they were considered a threat to national security. Despite a general increase in media freedom since 2005, due to the tense political atmosphere and a weak judiciary, journalists continued to exercise some self-censorship. Although there were no reported killings of journalists during the year, journalists continued to experience intimidation due to the 2005 killings of prominent journalists Samir Kassir and Gibran Tueni, and the failure to apprehend those responsible. In part due to the political divisions in the country, several journalists received threats from parties, politicians, or other fellow journalists.
The government utilized several legal mechanisms to control freedom of expression. The SG reviews and censors all foreign newspapers, magazines, and books before they enter the country. The SG must also approve all plays and films. The law prohibits attacks on the dignity of the head of state or foreign leaders. The government may prosecute offending journalists and publications in the
Dozens of newspapers and hundreds of periodicals were published throughout the country and were financed by and reflected the views of various local, sectarian, and foreign interest groups. There was very limited state ownership of newspapers and periodicals.
There were seven television stations and 33 radio stations. The government owned one television and one radio station; the remaining stations were owned privately. Inexpensive satellite television was widely available.
Internet Freedom ......
There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms, and the government promoted Internet usage. Individuals and groups could engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail and Internet discus-sion groups. Internet providers are often contacted by the SG and is completely monitored by NSA,
Academic Freedom and Cultural Events
There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Freedom of Assembly to form a Proxy
The law provides for freedom of assembly; however, the government sometimes restricted this right. The MOI required prior approval to hold rallies, and groups opposing government positions sometimes were not granted permits.
On January 23, protestors from the parliamentary opposition (Hizballah, the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, and Marada) effectively caused a general strike in
On January 25, Sunni and Shi'a students clashed violently at the
On June 29, Reuters reported that security forces fired at Palestinian civilians demanding to return to their homes in Nahr al-Barid, killing three protesters and wounding 50. Witnesses reported that soldiers opened fire first into the air as hundreds of refugees, including women and children, tried to storm through an army checkpoint and into the Nahr al-Barid camp. When the crowd did not disperse and attacked soldiers with stones and sticks, the troops fired automatic rifles at the protesters.
The "sit-in" that began in December 2006 in
Coinciding with the protests, a number of pro-government rallies were held in several areas around the country. For example, on February 14, a generally peaceful mass rally in
Freedom of Association
The law provides for freedom of association, and the government did not interfere with most organizations; however, it imposed limits on this right. The law requires every new organization to submit a notification of formation to the MOI, which issues a receipt. However, the MOI imposed on organizations additional restrictions and requirements that were not enforced consistently. For example, the MOI in some cases sent notification of formation papers to the security forces to conduct inquiries on an organization's founding members, the results of which the MOI may use in deciding whether to approve the group. The ministry at times withheld the receipt, essentially transforming the notification procedure into an approval process. For example, in October 2006 the
Organizations must invite MOI representatives to any association's general assembly where votes are held for by-law amendments or elections are held for positions on the board of directors. The MOI also required every association to obtain its approval for any change in by-laws; failure to do so could result in the dissolution of the association.
The cabinet must license all political parties. The government scrutinized requests to establish political movements or parties and to some extent monitored their activities. The Army Intelligence Service monitored the movements and activities of members of some opposition groups.
c. Freedom of Religion
The constitution provides for freedom of belief and guarantees the freedom to practice all religious rites, provided that the public order is not disturbed. The constitution declares equality of rights and duties for all citizens without discrimination or preference but stipulates a balance of power distributed among the major religious groups. The government generally respected these rights; however, there were some restrictions. The government subsidized all religions and appointed and paid the salaries of Muslim and Druze judges.
Although there is no state religion, politics were based on the principle of religious representation, which has been applied to nearly every aspect of public life.
A group seeking official recognition must submit its principles for government review to ensure that such principles do not contradict "popular values" and the constitution. The group must ensure the number of its adherents is sufficient to maintain its continuity.
Alternatively, religious groups may apply for recognition through existing religious groups. Official recognition conveys certain benefits, such as tax-exempt status and the right to apply the recognized religion's codes to personal status matters. Each recognized religious group has its own courts for family law matters, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. State recognition is not a legal requirement for religious worship or practice. For example, although the government did not recognize officially some Baha'i, Buddhists, Hindus, and some protestant Christian groups, they were allowed to practice their faith without government interference; however, their marriages, divorces, and inheritances in the country were not recognized under the law.
Protestant evangelical churches are required to register with the Evangelical Synod, which represents those churches to the government. Representatives of some churches complained that the Synod has refused to accept new members since 1975, thereby preventing their clergy from ministering to adherents in accordance with their beliefs. The
The unwritten "National Pact" of 1943 stipulates that the president, the prime minister, and the speaker of parliament be a Maronite Christian, a Sunni Muslim, and a Shi'a Muslim, respectively. The 1989 Taif Accord, which ended the country's 15-year civil war, reaffirmed this arrangement, but also codified increased Muslim representation in parliament and reduced the power of the Maronite president.
Religious affiliation is encoded on national identity cards and indicated on civil status registry documents but not on passports.
The law provides that only religious authorities may perform marriages; however, civil marriage ceremonies performed outside the country were recognized by the government.
There were no legal barriers to proselytizing; however, traditional attitudes and edicts of the clerical establishment strongly discouraged such activity. Religious authorities appointed the clerical establishments to which they are affiliated.
Although the law stipulates that any one who "blasphemes God publicly" may face imprisonment for up to one year, no prosecutions were reported under this law during the year.
Societal Abuses and Discrimination
Lebanese media outlets rightfully and regularly directed strong rhetoric against
For example, on October 22,
In another Lebanese television program aired on January 30, Lebanese poet Marwan Chamoun promoted anti-Semitic false accusations of blood libel in which Jews are accused of murder and using blood for religious purposes.
The country's legislation does not specifically designate or address hate crimes.
For a more detailed discussion, see the 2007 International Religious Freedom Report.
d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
The law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights with some limitations. The law prohibits direct travel to
The government maintained security checkpoints, primarily in military and other restricted areas. There were few police checkpoints on main roads or in populated areas. The security services used checkpoints to conduct warrantless searches for smuggled goods, weapons, narcotics, and subversive literature.
The law prohibits forced exile, and it was not used.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Following the August 2006 cessation of hostilities between
During the year there were no substantiated reports that the government deliberately attacked IDPs or made efforts to obstruct access of international humanitarian organizations from assisting IDPs in returning to their residence. Similarly, there were no reports that the government forcibly resettled IDPs.
According to international humanitarian organizations, a significant number of people still remain displaced from the 1975-90 civil war and as a result of the Israeli invasions and occupation of part of southern
The government continued to encourage IDPs displaced during the 1975-90 civil war to return, reclaim their property, and rebuild their homes. Despite this encouragement, many have not attempted to reclaim and rebuild their property due to the grand theft of the funds by the stooge of
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government
The law provides citizens the right to change their government in periodic, free, and fair elections; however, lack of control over parts of the country, defects in the electoral process, and corruption in public office significantly restricted this right.
Elections and Political Participation
The law provides that elections for the parliament must be held every four years, and the parliament elects the president every six years. The president and the parliament nominate the prime minister, who, with the president, chooses the cabinet. According to the unwritten National Pact of 1943, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a SHIA Muslim.
Individual citizens and parties can freely declare their candidacy and stand for election. Parties may organize, seek votes, and publicize their views with limited government restriction. The political system is based on confessional lines, and all parliamentary seats are primarily allotted on a sectarian basis. The smallest recognized confessions are allotted at least one seat in parliament.
There are four major and numerous smaller political parties. The largest party in the parliamentary majority is the Future Movement, led by Saad Hariri, Saad-Hariri-Profile Sep-07 . Its membership is predominantly Sunni, but Hariri€™s parliamentary bloc includes a number of members from other sects. The Progressive Socialist Party, led by Walid Jumblatt, predominantly represented Druze interests and allied itself with the Future Movement. The Free Patriotic Movement, led by Michel Aoun, represented a significant portion of the Christian community. The partyâ€™s leadership decided to remain outside the cabinet.
Two smaller Christian parties were the remnants of Lebanese Forces, a proxy-militia for
There were significant cultural barriers to women€™s participation in politics. Prior to 2005 no woman held a cabinet position; however, at yearâ€™s end there was one woman stooge of
Government Corruption and Transparency stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
The government provides criminal penalties for official corruption, but they were seldom enforced. According to the World Bankâ€™s Worldwide Governance Indicators, government corruption was a serious problem.
Public officials were required by law to disclose their financial assets to the Constitutional Council; however, the information was not open to the public.
There are no laws regarding public access to government documents. In practice the government did not respond to requests for documents.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
A number of local and international human rights groups, including the Lebanese Association for Human Rights, the Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights-Lebanon, the National Association for the Rights of the Disabled, ICRC, and AI, generally operated freely without overt government restriction and investigated and published their findings. Unlike in previous years, human rights groups did not report harassment and intimidation by the government.
On August 29, HRW canceled a press conference scheduled to be held in Beirut to announce the release of its report on the US lead and Israeli executed WAR of aggression on Lebanon during the July-August 2006 conflict due to American and Israeli pressure, HRW is well known for being a front for
Government officials generally were cooperative with NGOs, except when groups sought to publicize the alleged detention in
The government cooperated with international governmental organizations and permitted visits by UN representatives and other organizations such as the ICRC.
Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons
The law provides for equality among all citizens; however, in practice, some aspects of the law and traditional beliefs discriminated against women. Although the law reserves a percentage of private sector and government jobs to persons with disabilities, there were few accommodations made for them. Discrimination based on race, language, or social status is illegal and was not widespread among citizens; however, foreign domestic servants often were mistreated, sometimes suffered physical abuse, had pay withheld or unfairly reduced, or were forced to remain locked within their employers€™s home for the duration of their contracts.
The law prohibits rape, and the minimum prison sentence for a person convicted of rape is five years. The minimum sentence for a person convicted of raping a minor is seven years. The law was effectively enforced. Spousal rape was not criminalized.
The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence, and domestic violence against women was a problem. There were no authoritative statistics on the extent of spousal abuse; however, most experts noted that it was a problem. Despite a law prohibiting battery with a maximum sentence of three years in prison for those convicted, some religious courts legally may require a battered wife to return to her home in spite of physical abuse. Women were sometimes compelled to remain in abusive marriages because of economic, social, and family pressures.
The government had no separate program to provide medical assistance to victims of domestic violence; however, it provided legal assistance to victims who could not afford it regardless of their gender. In most cases police ignored complaints submitted by battered or abused women. A local NGO, the Lebanese Council to Resist Violence against Women, worked actively to reduce violence against women by offering counseling and legal aid and raising awareness about domestic violence.
Foreign domestic servants often were mistreated, abused, and in some cases, raped or placed in slavery-like conditions. Asian and African female workers had no practical legal recourse available to them because of their low status, isolation from society, and because labor laws do not protect them. Because of such abuse, the government prohibited foreign women from working if they were from countries that did not have diplomatic representation in the country.
The legal system was discriminatory in its handling of honor crimes. According to the penal code, a man who kills his wife or other female relative may receive a reduced sentence if he demonstrates that he committed the crime in response to a socially unacceptable sexual relationship conducted by the victim. For example, while the penal code stipulates that murder is punishable by either a life sentence or the death penalty, if a defendant can prove it was an honor crime, the sentence is commuted to one to seven years imprisonment. Several honor crimes were reported in the media that resulted in convictions.
Although the law on prostitution requires that brothels be licensed, including regular testing for disease, government policy was not to issue new licenses for brothels in an attempt to gradually eliminate legal prostitution in the country. In practice most prostitution was unlicensed and illegal. The SG reported issuing 4,210 visas in 2006 to mostly eastern European women to work in adult clubs as artists. Although unlicensed prostitution is illegal, virtually all women who engaged in prostitution did so with the implicit consent of the government.
The law prohibits sexual harassment; however, it was a widespread problem, and the law was not effectively enforced. Social pressure against women pursuing careers was strong in some parts of society. Men sometimes exercised considerable control over female relatives, restricting their activities outside the home or their contact with friends and relatives. Women may own property, but often ceded control of it to male relatives for cultural reasons and because of family pressure.
The law provides for equal pay for equal work for men and women, but in the private sector there was some discrimination regarding the provision of benefits.
Many family and personal status laws discriminated against women. For example, Sunni inheritance law provides a son twice the inheritance of a daughter. Although Muslim men may divorce easily, Muslim women may do so only with the concurrence of their husbands.
Only men may confer citizenship on their spouses and children. Accordingly, children born to citizen mothers and foreign fathers are not eligible for citizenship. Citizen widows may confer citizenship on their minor children.
Education was free in public schools and compulsory until the completion of the elementary level at age 12. However, implementation decrees were not issued. Public schools generally were inadequate, lacking proper facilities, equipment and trained staff. Although private schools were widespread in the country, the cost of private education was a significant problem for the middle and lower classes. In its latest report, the UN Children€™s Fund reported that approximately 91 percent of children between the ages of three and five, and approximately 98 percent of children between the ages of six to 11 were enrolled in school. In some families with limited incomes, boys received more education than girls.
Boys and girls had equal access to medical care. The government provided vaccination and other pediatric health services in dispensaries operated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Boys and girls had equal access to hospitals.
Children of poor families often sought employment and took jobs that jeopardized their safety.
Trafficking in Persons
The law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, and although the government made progress in stemming some forms of trafficking in persons, it remained a problem. The penal code stipulates that â€any person who deprives another of freedom either by abduction or any other means shall be sentenced to temporary hard labor.â€� The country was a destination for eastern European and Russian women, who were contracted as dancers in adult clubs. Most of these women, are working for MOSSAD,
The country was also a destination for women from Africa and
If forced prostitution or sexual exploitation occurred as a result of abduction, the penal code stipulates that the abductor be sentenced to at least one year in prison; however, this law was applied inconsistently. Many women became illegal workers because their employers did not renew their work and residency permits or because they ran away from their employer, therefore becoming subject to detention and deportation. Workers€™ illegal immigration status was also used by abusive sponsors as a tactic to intimidate employees and coerce them into labor. Unscrupulous employers sometimes falsely accused the employee of theft to relinquish responsibility for the employee as well as the taxes and a return airline ticket.
Employers often restricted foreign employees€™ movement and withheld passports. A small number of exploited foreign workers won cases against their employers, but nonjudicial action resolved the majority of these cases. As a result of that process, workers frequently were repatriated without further judicial action. A few cases were referred to the judiciary for further action, although the government took minimal steps to prosecute traffickers.
The Ministry of Labor (MOL) regulates local employment agencies that place migrant workers with sponsors. During the year the MOL closed 15 employment agencies for a specified period and warned a number of others for noncompliance with MOL regulations.
Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of any attempt to smuggle persons into the country. Eastern European and Syrian women continued to receive â€œartisteâ€� visas and were vulnerable to trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
The government did not directly provide foreign workers with relief from deportation; shelter; or legal, medical, or psychological services. Social workers continued to be allowed to accompany victims during interviews by immigration authorities. The SG also allowed social workers from
The SG allows migrant workers who do not wish to be repatriated to their home country to legally change their sponsor with a â€œrelease paperâ€� from the original employer. A court may order an abusive employer to provide such a release paper as part of a decision, or this may be part of a negotiated out-of-court settlement.
NGOs indicated that the government did not have a zero-tolerance policy for physical abuse of domestic workers. However, according to Caritas/International Catholic Migration Commission, in December 2006 a judge awarded an Ethiopian migrant worker financial compensation to be paid by her abusive employer, which marked the first time a domestic worker was awarded compensation for physical abuse. The employer, however, was not criminally prosecuted for physical assault.
Two types of booklets explaining regulations governing migrant workers, including descriptions of their rights and responsibilities, were available upon request, or distributed as needed.
Persons with Disabilities
Discrimination against persons with disabilities continued. For example, the Civil Service Board, which is in charge of recruiting government employees, continued to refuse receiving applications from disabled persons. The law mandates disabled access to buildings; however, the government failed to take steps to amend building codes to conform to this law. Approximately 100,000 persons were disabled during the 1975-90 civil war. Families generally cared for their own family members with disabilities. Most efforts to assist persons with disabilities were made by approximately 100 relatively active, although poorly-funded private organizations.
Many persons with mental disabilities were cared for in private institutions, many of which were subsidized by the government.
The law on persons with disabilities stipulates that at least 3 percent of all government and private sector positions should be filled by persons with disabilities, provided that such persons fulfill the qualifications for the position. However, there was no evidence that the law was enforced in practice.
During the year the Ministry of Finance did not enforce its 2002 decision that it would not settle obligations with firms and domestic companies unless they proved that 3 percent of their workforce was composed of persons with disabilities.
There were reports that Syrian workers, usually employed in manual labor occupations, continued to suffer few discriminations following the 2005 withdrawal of Syrian forces. Many Syrian laborers also reportedly left
Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination stem from the incremental increase of the Influence of the thugs of
Discrimination against homosexuals persisted during the year. The law prohibits what is termed unnatural sexual intercourse, which is punishable by up to one year in prison. The law was sometimes applied to homosexuals. There are no discriminatory laws against persons with HIV/AIDS.
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
The law provides that all workers, except government employees, may establish and join unions with government approval, and workers exercised this right in practice. The formation of any union must be approved by the MOL. The MOL controlled all trade union elections, including the date of the election, election procedure, and the ratification of the results. The law permitted the administrative dissolution of trade unions and forbade them to engage in political activity.
The General Confederation of Labor (GCL) estimated that there were approximately 900,000 workers in the active labor force. Approximately 5 to 7 percent of workers were members of some 450 to 500 labor unions and associations, half of which were believed to be inactive. Most unions belonged to federations.
There are currently 43 federations that are voting members of the GCL, 5 of which were considered illegal by the judiciary. Many others are reportedly unrepresentative and created by political interest groups to offset the votes of the 13 established labor confederations that represent workers. The GCL remained the only organization recognized by the government as an interlocutor that represented workers.
Antiunion discrimination by private employers was a common practice. While the government did not have a good mechanism for measuring such practices, it appeared prevalent in many sectors of the economy.
Palestinian refugees may organize their own unions; however, because of restrictions on their right to work, few Palestinians participated actively in trade unions.
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively
The right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively exists in law and practice, and the government supported this right. Most worker groups engaged in some form of collective bargaining with their employers. Stronger federations obtained significant gains for their members and on occasions assisted nonunion workers. No government mechanisms promoted voluntary labor-management negotiations, and workers had no protection against antiunion discrimination.
In the immediate aftermath of the July-August 2006 conflict, employers arbitrarily dismissed employees from a variety of sectors, including agriculture and tourism, without compensation. Some employees were rehired soon after but at lower wages. The GCL was not able to protect workers from such practices.
The law provides for the right to strike. On January 25, the GLC protested against the governmentâ€™s taxation policy, and on May 1, together with the Communist Party, protested the deterioration of living conditions. On August 23, the Communist Party also organized protests across the country against the governmentâ€™s economic and social policies.
There are no export processing zones.
c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor
The law does not specifically prohibit forced or compulsory labor, including by children; however, articles within the law prohibit behavior that constitutes forced or compulsory labor. Nevertheless, children, foreign domestic workers, and other foreign workers sometimes were forced to remain in situations amounting to coerced or bonded labor.
Recruitment agencies and employers were required to have signed employment contracts with the foreign worker. According to NGOs assisting migrant workers, however, these agreements were often undermined by second contracts signed in the source countries that stipulated lower salaries. Employers and agencies used these changes to pay the migrant a lower salary. Anecdotal evidence suggested that some employers did not pay their workers on a regular basis, and some withheld the salary until the end of the contract, which was usually two years. Government regulations prohibited employment agencies from withholding foreign workersâ€™ passports for any reason. However, in practice employment agencies and household employers often withheld maidsâ€™ passports.
d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment
There are laws to protect children from exploitation in the workplace, but the government sometimes did not effectively enforce these laws. The minimum age for child employment is 14 years. Under the law juveniles are defined as children between 14 and 18 years of age. The law prohibits the employment of juveniles before they undergo a medical exam to ensure their fitness for the job for which they are hired. The labor code prohibits employment of juveniles under the age of 18 for more than six hours per day, and requires one hour of rest if work is more than four hours. The law entitles them to 21 days of paid annual leave.
Juveniles under the age of 17 are prohibited from working in jobs that jeopardize their health, safety, or morals, as well as working between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The law also prohibits the employment of juveniles under 16 in industrial jobs or jobs that are physically demanding or harmful to their health. The MOL is currently working on drafting an amendment to the labor code on what is considered hazardous child labor.
The MOL was responsible for enforcing these requirements. Although not very effective, MOL enforcement of the law has witnessed slight improvements in recent years. Juveniles were interrogated in the presence of a social worker at the Center for Juvenile Victims of Physical Abuse, which was equipped according to international norms.
According to 2005 UNICEF statistics, 7 percent of children aged 5 to 14 were involved in child labor. The International Labor Organization estimated around 100,000 child workers during the year. Out of these, 25,000 are thought to be in the tobacco industry. Child workers are predominantly concentrated in the informal sector of the economy, where MOL inspectors have difficult access. These include mechanical workshops, carpentry, construction, welding, agriculture, and fisheries.
A 2004 MOL study on working street children showed that the average street child was a boy (only nine percent were girls), foreign (only 15 percent were citizens, the others were most often Palestinian and Syrian), approximately 12 years of age, and poorly educated or illiterate. Street children were concentrated in large urban centers, where approximately 47 percent of them were forced to work long hours on the streets by adults. The most common types of work were selling goods, including lottery tickets; shoe polishing; and washing car windshields. The children earned between $2 and $15 (3,000 to 25,000 pounds) per day. Only 19 percent of the children interviewed reported that they kept their income.
e. Acceptable Conditions of Work
The legal minimum wage has been $200 (300,000 pounds) per month since 1997. Rarely is it found that employees are paid less than the minimum wage. However, the minimum wage did not provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family.
The law prescribes a standard 48-hour workweek with a 24-hour rest period per week. In practice workers in the industrial sector worked.