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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November 30, 2011

iloubnan- Lebanon premier delays meeting on Hariri court, November 30, 2011

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Wednesday he had transferred Lebanon's share of funding to a UN-backed court probing the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, an issue that has threatened to spark the collapse of his government. 
"This morning, I transferred Lebanon's share of funding to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (TSL)," Mikati said in a surprise announcement.

He said the decision would preserve national unity and was in the country's best interest.

"This does not constitute a victory for one party over another," the premier told reporters. "This represents a gain for the Lebanese state and institutions."

Mikati last week threatened to resign should his Hezbollah-dominated government refuse to fund the STL, and the issue was to be discussed on

Wednesday at a cabinet meeting that was postponed.

"I don't want to be head of a government that fails to honour its international obligations and pulls the country out of the Arab and international community," the premier said.

It was unclear whether his decision to transfer the funds had the blessing of his cabinet.

The Netherlands-based STL has indicted four Hezbollah operatives for murdering Hariri and 22 others in a car bomb blast in Beirut on February 14, 2005.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who has denounced the court as part of a US-Israeli conspiracy, has steadfastly pushed with his allies for Lebanon to cut all ties with the tribunal.

Hezbollah, which is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, has also vowed that those accused will never be found or handed over.

Mikati said on Wednesday that he was keen for the STL to push forwards with its work but urged the court to remain fair and impartial.

He said the STL's work must not be politically motivated.

The Shiite Hezbollah, the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon, toppled the government of Saad Hariri, the slain leader's son, in January after he refused to stop cooperation with the court.

Lebanon is responsible for meeting 49 percent of the STL's financing, which amounts to some $35 million (25.2 million euros) this year.

Mikati's government had until the end of October to transfer the now
overdue funds.

The premier said last week that he would rather quit than be head of a government that did not honour its international obligations.

In recent weeks, Mikati had come under intense international pressure for Lebanon to uphold its duties towards the court and STL president David Baragwanath visited the country to drive the message home.

Rafiq Hariri's death in 2005 led to a series of political crises that brought the country close to civil war in 2008.
The STL was created by a 2007 UN Security Council resolution at Lebanon's request. It opened its doors in 2009, tasked with trying those suspected of responsibility for Hariri's assassination.

It is the first international criminal tribunal with jurisdiction over terrorism offences and a mandate to try defendants in absentia if necessary.

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