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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March 17, 2014

Naharnet - Documents Reveal Fate of Four Lebanese Nationals Missing in Syria, March 17, 2014

The pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat revealed on Sunday the fate of four Lebanese nationals missing in Syria out of 622 names, which Syrian authorities refuse to recognize their presence in the regime's prisons.

The newspaper published four official Syrian documents concerning the fate of Salim Salamah, Kozhaya Shehwan, Abdul Nasser al-Masri and Raef Faraj.

According to the report, a document issued by the Syrian military police reveals that authorities implemented death penalty against Salamah on March 20 1990.

Salamah, who was detained on April 14 1989, has been detained by the Syrian intelligence “on charges of collaborating with Israel.”

Another document said that Shehwan, who was detained on July 24 1980, was executed in Tadmur prison on August 27 1981, on charges of belonging to an armed group and killing 17 Syrian workers on a checkpoint in the coastal town of Shekka in the north.

A third document reveals that Abdul Nasser al-Masri, a volunteer in the Lebanese army, was executed in 1996 in Mazze prison.

Masri was charged with the intentional murder of Syrian troops and incitement confusion among the ranks of the Syrian army.

Masri was detained in 1993.

Raef Faraj, detained on October 7 1981, died in July 1987 after suffering from an acute kidney failure.

For over 20 years, more than 600 families -- Lebanese and Palestinian, Muslim and Christian -- have demanded authorities reveal the fate of thousands of political prisoners believed to have disappeared at the hands of Syrian troops who entered Lebanon shortly after the outbreak of the 1975-1990 civil war.

Successive Lebanese governments have made apparent attempts to address the issue, even including it in cabinet programs.

Rights groups say thousands of men, women and children disappeared at the hands of Hafez Assad, Bashar's predecessor and late father, during the civil war, a spiraling bloodbath which tore Lebanon apart on confessional lines.

Syria withdrew from its smaller neighbor in 2005 under massive international pressure over the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

The Assad dynasty has long denied holding any prisoners of conscience, but on four different occasions between 1976 and 2000 has released Lebanese who had been held in Syrian prisons.

While Syria declared it no longer had any Lebanese detainees after the prisoner release in 2000, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made a statement to the contrary during a fence-mending trip to Lebanon in 2008.

"Those who have waited more than 30 years since the start of the (Lebanese) civil war can wait another few weeks," Muallem said at the time.

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