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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December 8, 2011

L'orient le jour- Maronite bishops welcome Mikati’s decision to fund STL , December 8, 2011

BEIRUT: The Council of Maronite Bishops welcomed Wednesday the government’s decision to finance the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, thus avoiding a confrontation with the international community.
“The bishops welcomed the overcoming of the crisis over the funding of the STL which warded off the specter of a crisis with the international community and a government crisis in Lebanon and eliminated a threat to stability as many had warned,” according to a statement released after the council’s monthly meeting chaired by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai at the Maronite patriarchate’s seat in Bkirki, north of Beirut.
“They look forward for the government to shoulder its responsibility and tackle the unresolved issues, particularly the issue of public appointments in vacant posts and security, social and economic affairs,” said the statement, which was read to reporters by the secretary of Maronite patriachate priest Rafik al-Warsha.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati, facing mounting local and international pressures to honor Lebanon’s commitments to U.N. resolutions, including the one pertaining to the STL, last week transferred Lebanon’s $32.6 million share to the tribunal’s annual budget, overriding opposition from Hezbollah and its March 8 allies.
Mikati’s decision has been welcomed by the U.S. and other Western states, the Netherlands-based STL and the opposition March 14 parties.
The row over the STL’s funding had sharply split the government and put its fate into jeopardy after Mikati threatened to resign if the Cabinet failed to approve the payment of Lebanon’s share to the tribunal.
Referring to the wave of popular uprisings currently sweeping the Arab world, the Maronite bishops supported the peoples’ right to determine their fate and choose the form of rule that suits them. However, they warned of the threat of turmoil in Syria creating tension in Lebanon.
While viewing with interest the major changes that are taking place in the region, the Maronite bishops voiced concern over the deteriorating security situation in Syria, fearing a drift toward more violence.
“They reminded that supporting the issues of Arab brothers cannot be attained by shifting the tension and divisions to inside Lebanon, but by adhering to the requirements of the National Pact, preserving the ‘Lebanese particularity,’ respect of plurality and acceptance of the other,” the statement said.
Despite the great efforts made by security forces to maintain calm, the bishops voiced their concern over security incidents.
“The firing of rockets from the Lebanese border [toward Israel], explosions, thefts and ugly crimes against innocent people are incidents that raise anxiety as if Lebanon has no sanctity or border,” the statement said. It added that the bishops reminded government officials that the state’s sovereignty cannot be divided or compromised.
Referring to repeated riots in crowded prisons, the bishops called on the state to draw up a clear policy to improve conditions in prisons and exercise justice by acting on cases of people left in prison for months and years without a trial.
The bishops called on the government to take action on the socioeconomic crisis, including the wage hike issue and soaring prices, and to ensure water and electricity supplies. They welcomed a draft law tackling the repatriation of Lebanese who were forced to flee to Israel after 2000.

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