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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March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010 - Now Lebanon - Sfeir says STL should carry on with its work no matter what

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir told As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) proved that it is fair, adding that it should carry on with its work no matter what.

Sfeir also said that the STL should not be politicized and should reveal the truth about the murder of several Lebanese officials, including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The patriarch added that the March 14 alliance will persevere, despite Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt’s split from it in August 2009. He admitted that the alliance’s performance has somehow deteriorated, “however, this does not mean that the coalition has been dissolved.”

Sfeir also touched on the criticisms launched against President Michel Sleiman, saying that some were planning to remove Sleiman from his post and replace him, in a reference to Tawhid Movement leader Wiam Wahhab’s recent call on Sleiman to resign.

According to Sfeir, Syria withdrew its army from Lebanon in 2005, however, it can still interfere in the country’s domestic affairs through Damascus’ Lebanese allies.

“Some Lebanese want Syria to return to Lebanon so as to further their personal interests,” said Sfeir, adding that Lebanon’s interests lie in building good relations with its neighbors.

The patriarch also said that some Christian leaders criticize him because he refuses to adopt their points of view, in reference to the Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun. Relations between Sfeir and Aoun soured in 2006 after the latter signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hezbollah.

Sfeir commented on “the fragile situation” in Lebanon, saying the country should have only one army. However, he did not elaborate further.

He denied that Hezbollah threatens the Christian community, however, he called on Lebanese government to place all arms under state control.

-NOW Lebanon

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