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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October 25, 2011

Daily Star - Future, Hezbollah lawmakers quarrel, October 25, 2011

BEIRUT: A heated quarrel broke out between Hezbollah and Future Movement lawmakers during a parliamentary committee meeting to discuss a detailed report implicating Syria in the kidnapping of Syrian dissidents in Lebanon.
During the argument, Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar threatened Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat, according to some participants in the meeting.
“Let us fight it out outside [Parliament],” Fatfat quoted Ammar as saying.
“The session was full of curses and that’s because of Ammar’s attitude,” Fatfat told reporters after walking out of the session.
“I don’t carry weapons. Those who carry weapons are the ones that threaten and take it outside,” he added.
One lawmaker who attended the session said that Ammar objected to Fatfat’s remarks.
According to the MP, Fatfat then asked Ammar, “So tomorrow, you’ll wear a black shirt?” to which Ammar responded, “Your heart is black.”
Fatfat was refering to the brief deployment of hundreds of Hezbollah members wearing black shirts in the streets of the capital in the aftermath of the collapse of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government.
Ammar’s press office had no comment on the incident when contacted by The Daily Star.
Speaking with reporters following the meeting, however, Baalbek-Hermel MP Nawwar Sahli denied that Ammar threatened Fatfat, explaining that he had only asked to meet to talk and that it was Fatfat’s words that had been threatening.
Zahrani MP Michel Musa, who led the meeting, said: “A quarrel took place during the meeting, as happens in every session, but it didn’t cross the line.”
The Human Rights Parliamentary Committee, which convened in Parliament shortly after midday, continued after Fatfat’s exit.
The committee was discussing a report released by ISF head Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi that implicates the Syrian Embassy in the kidnapping of Syrian opposition figures in Lebanon.
Last week Rifi released to the media a detailed report implicating the Syrian Embassy and Internal Security Forces personnel in charge of the mission’s security in the kidnappings of four Syrian opposition figures.
The report was made public a few days after Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali demanded that hard evidence be produced over the allegations.
In the report, Rifi said he had collected information that embassy staff and an ISF guard unit headed by Lt. Salah Hajj were involved in the kidnapping in February of three brothers from the Jasem family, one of whom had been seen a few days earlier handing out flyers calling for reform in Syria, according to Human Rights Watch.
Rifi has also said that the ISF has collected “dangerous information” pointing to the Syrian Embassy’s involvement in the May disappearance of Shibli Aisamy, an 86-year-old Syrian dissident who was abducted in the mountain town of Aley, and that there are similarities between his case and the Jasem brothers’ cases.
The committee meeting, which was attended by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi and State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza, recommended that the judiciary follow up on the kidnappings in Lebanon, indicating that the judiciary will respond if a lawsuit in one of the cases is filed.
Metn MP Sami Gemayel and Baabda MP Hikmat Dib had questioned the military court’s failure to apprehend those involved in the abductions and requested that Mirza be invited to the session to look into the reasons the Military Tribunal has failed to uncover the perpetrators.
According to lawmakers who attended the session, Mirza said that there are no judicial cases in the disappearances of Aisami or Joseph Sadr, who was kidnapped in 2009.
Mirza said that a lawsuit had been brought by the family of the Jasem brothers but had subsequently been dropped. If there is new information on the case, the case would move forward, the state prosecutor added.
Mirza said that the investigations of the role of Lt. Hajj in the kidnapping are ongoing, adding that Hajj had recently been punished for violating protocol, not for the kidnappings.
After the session ended, Musa said the committee called for a quick response to any lawsuits related to the kidnappings and for truth to be revealed quickly.
Not all participants were pleased with the session’s proceedings.
Chouf MP Marwan Hamade, who was the first to leave the session, told reporters that the committee would not reach a conclusion, make any announcements or take any measures. “Thank God there is an international tribunal and international investigation,” he added, expressing his belief the Lebanese judiciary has failed to follow up on kidnapping cases in Lebanon.

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