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 31, 2011

Daily Star - Protests to free prisoners could turn into riots, October 31, 2011

BEIRUT: Protests demanding general amnesty for prisoners in Lebanon planned for this week have the potential to turn into nationwide riots, security sources told The Daily Star.
The committee of prisoners’ families is preparing to hold demonstrations Tuesday starting 6 a.m., asking for a general amnesty or for a reduction of criminal charges’ sentences, the sources added.
According to secret notices that were distributed to supporters, protesters will gather at Rafik Hariri International Airport highway at the intersection of the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajneh, Mar Mikhail church, Msharafiyyeh, Tayyouneh, Sayyad, Aley highway and near the prisons of Zahle and Tripoli.
A note at the bottom of the statement called on protesters to cooperate with the Lebanese Army.
Sources told The Daily Star, however, that the group’s intention to cooperate with authorities was thrown into questions by information that Khodr Daher, the head of the committee, was contacted by the outlawed Islamist group, Fatah al-Islam, and members of Jund al-Sham, also an Islamist group
The two groups informed Daher that they were intending to take part in the demonstrations and clash with the Army in order to create commotion that could escalate into armed acts as well as in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared, Shatila, Burj al-Barajneh and Ain al-Hilweh, along with Tripoli, Sidon and the Anjar-Damascus highway in general.
The Lebanese Army crushed Fatah al-Islam members in Nahr al-Bared in clashes that lasted throughout summer 2007 which reduced the camp to rubble.
The committee includes Vice President Hussein Dandash, Ali Khalil, Madar Zeaiter, Mohammad Saheli, Hala Shehade, Ali Sharif, Ali Qahmaz, Mahmoud Nemri, Nour Sabra, a media official, and lawyers Toufic Dika, Said Alameh, Joseph Ghsaiby, Mohammad Safi, Ghada Eid and Fadi Haidar, the committee’s spokesperson.
Some groups were spotted filling mini-buses and trucks with tires to be used to block roads.
The sources added that starting Monday, inmates of Roumieh prison will begin an open-ended hunger strike and some are planning to take members of the Internal Security Forces hostage in parallel to the events outside.
Roumieh prison saw riots in April that claimed the three lives, as inmates protested chronic overcrowdedness and called for accelerating their trials.
An Interior Ministry report in September recommended the establishment of an emergency board of representatives from seven ministries to ameliorate prison conditions.

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