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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August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 - Daily Star - Hariri tells parties to keep STL detached from local debates

By Nafez Kawas

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri reiterated Sunday his commitment to the course of justice to uncover the truth behind his father’s assassination, as he called on Lebanese parties to distance the UN-backed tribunal from domestic debate.

“Lebanon is witnessing a lot of political comments as some want the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) to remain subject to internal debate. But we believe that a flurry of statements will not progress or delay matters as calm continues to be the best way to approach matters,” Hariri said.

The prime minister made his comments during an iftar at his residence in Qoreitem in honor of northern Bekaa families.

Hariri stressed that the truth behind former Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder was no longer a personal or family affair but a Lebanese and Arab cause.

“Like any one of you, I consider commitment to justice and truth a national responsibility that should not be relinquished or lost regardless of motives and reasons,” Hariri said.

“I assure those who need assurances that the course of justice will not stop and we will welcome anything that could help this course progress.”

Hariri called on Lebanese leaders to commit to calm rhetoric and “to commit to reason, away from provocative stances as regional challenges loom in the near future.”

“Stability is the responsibility of all and a calm atmosphere provides the elements of stability and prevents tensions … any tense position by any party will reflect on the country’s political situation,” Hariri said.

On Saturday, Hariri stressed that attempts to create a schism among the ranks of the Future Movement would fail.

“Some believe that they can distance Saad Hariri from [former Premier] Fouad Siniora, or vice versa, or distance Saad Hariri from the Future Movement, and they are confused about what they want, but they failed in the past to achieve their goal and they will continue to fail,” Hariri said.

Pro-opposition Al-Akhbar newspaper accused Siniora in remarks published Saturday of spreading corruption in state institutions and infiltrating the country’s economic, telecommunication and security infrastructure to serve foreign goals aimed against the resistance.

“How can people praise and insult the same person just like they did when they praised former Premier Rafik Hariri after he was assassinated after having criticized him all through his life?” Hariri asked.

“Now, after five years, they are trying to do the same thing with Fouad Siniora and I tell them honestly that Premier Siniora is a red line and this is not flattery,” Hariri said.

Addressing families from Sidon, Hariri also stressed that south Lebanon constituted the first line of defense against Israeli threats and praised the Lebanese Army for safeguarding Lebanese sovereignty, particularly during the Adaysseh incident earlier this month.

The Adaysseh cross-border clashes between the Lebanese and Israeli armies killed three Lebanese – two army soldiers, and a journalist – as well as an Israeli Army officer.

“Lebanon does not seek tensions but rejects Israeli violations,” Hariri said while expressing the country’s commitment to Resolution 1701 and the army’s cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

On another note, Hariri stressed that protests against electricity rationing would not help resolve the long-running crisis which was the outcome of a lack of investments in the electricity sector since 1997.

“What would solve the problem is Parliament approving the budget so we can start tackling the people’s basic priorities which are the same as the Cabinet’s,” Hariri said.

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