The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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December 24, 2009

Daily Star - Suspect arrested over shooting of bus carrying Syrian laborers - December 24,2009

Suspect arrested over shooting of bus carrying Syrian laborers
Man identified as Shawki al-Nazer had previously argued with driver

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army arrested a man suspected of shooting Monday at a bus heading from northern Lebanon to neighboring Syria. Monday’s shooting left one Syrian passenger dead and raised concerns about the timing coming just days after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s highly charged visit to Syria.
Media reports on Wednesday said the results of discussions between the two officials including border demarcation, Palestinian weapons outside of camps, and the issue of the detained and missing Lebanese in Syrian prisons, will bear fruit in the next two weeks.
The officials said the suspect, identified as Shawki al-Nazer, had argued in the past with the bus driver.
He opened fire on the bus from a nearby rooftop.
“The directorate of the Lebanese Army intelligence managed to arrest Shawki Nazer which Lebanese nationality was under study and who confessed of shooting at the bus riders as investigations are undergoing to uncover the details of the crime,” a statement by the Defense Minister press office said Tuesday overnight.
The officials said the motives behind the incident were related to smuggling fuel rather than political; however, adding that they awaited the conclusion of the investigations.
The bus was transporting 25 Syrian laborers when fire opened near an army checkpoint on the main highway between Syria and northern Lebanon at about 3:00 a.m. local time.
The victim was reported to be a 17-year-old laborer.
However, commenting on the incident, Lebanese political figures said Tuesday the shooting aimed to reverse the results achieved during Hariri’s visit to Syria and derail countries’ ties.
As-Safir newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Lebanese Army military intelligence captured Monday 12 suspects and released 10 after concluding intensive investigations.
One of the two remaining detainees, Nazer confessed to be responsible for the shooting as he is expected to be transferred to Beirut on Wednesday.
The Lebanese Cabinet condemned Monday the attack as Defense Minister Elias Murr and Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud briefed ministers on the ongoing investigations.
Analysts believe an improvement of ties with Damascus would bridge a political divide in Beirut, easing sectarian tensions and providing Hariri with the necessary clout to push through long-delayed economic and other reforms.
Hariri has blamed Damascus for the 2005 assassination of his father. Syria denies involvement.
In a separate incident, the National News Agency reported Wednesday that Y. Atar stabbed his uncle Khaled Atar with a knife before fleeing to unknown location.
The NNA added that Khaled died as he arrived to a local hospital while security forces instigated investigations at the crime scene.
In other security-related news, the Lebanese Defense Ministry issued a decree number 13-15 Wednesday restricting the carrying of weapons to diplomatic and political escorts starting December 22 and ending December 31 midnight. – The Daily Star

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