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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May 30, 2011

The Daily Star - Sleiman orders Justice Ministry to take legal action against Rifi - May 30, 2011

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman ordered the Justice Ministry to take legal measures against Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi over the Telecoms Ministry dispute, a statement from the Presidential Palace said Monday.

Rifi is currently at the center of a heated controversy that has sparked a war of words between the March 8 and March 14 camps following last week’s incident involving equipment for a third GSM network at a building affiliated with the Telecommunications Ministry.

The incident Wednesday saw members of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces barring Telecom Minister Charbel Nahhas and technicians from entering the second floor housing the telecoms equipment at the Adlieh building affiliated with the Telecoms Ministry.

Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, who had issued orders that the security personnel withdraw from the facilities, absolved himself of his ministerial duties over the incident.

The Lebanese Army has since taken over control of the security of the facilities.

A political source told The Daily Star Sunday that Sleiman was “furious” over Rifi’s refusal to carry out the president’s order to evacuate members of the ISF Information Branch from the telecoms building. The source added that Sleiman had been discussing taking judicial measures against Rifi which could result in the ISF chief being referred to the judiciary.

“The president is now discussing taking judicial action against Rifi which could result in Rifi being referred to the judiciary,” the source told The Daily Star.

Rifi sounded defiant Sunday in the face of threats of prosecution for failing to comply with caretaker Baroud’s order to evacuate members of the ISF’s Information Branch from a telecoms building and maintained that he had acted according to law to protect state property.

“I exercised my legal prerogatives. I did my national duty to protect the state property,” Rifi told The Daily Star. 

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