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 11, 2015

The Daily Star - Activists hold protest to call for fighting corrupt officials, December 11, 2015

A dozen activists affiliated with the We Want Accountability movement held a sit-in Saturday outside the Auditing Department in Beirut's Hamra area, calling for corrupt officials to be held accountable.

"This is within the duties of the Auditing Department. If supervising bodies played their role properly, the country wouldn't have reached this situation," activist lawyer Wassef Harakeh told MTV.

He revealed that the group will "soon hold a news conference to name the corrupt officials" and shame them.

Harakeh called on officials to assume their responsibilities regarding the spending of money from the state's treasury and dealing with public finances.

"There is theft but no accountability...if they are incapable they should let us know. Be honest," he said.

The lawyer added that the group has no priorities except "various files and crises that should be resolved...we will tackle each matter in the future."

Protesters outside the Auditing Department waved the Lebanese flags and held banners denouncing corruption.

They argue that the head of the Auditing Department, Judge Ahmad Hamdan, failed to assume his duties and investigate corruption charges.

Nehmat Badreddine, a prominent leader for We Want Accountability, said that the protest supersedes previous activities by the group.

"We are seeking to reactivate supervision bodies in Lebanon."

She underlined that the "executive authority (premiership) can press the Auditing Department and other similar bodies to investigate all complaints put forth."

Employees were seen leaving the building at 11:30, although the official work schedule ends at 11 on Saturdays.

Protesters were heard shouting "the Audit Department should start holding [officials] accountable."

A statement read by Harakeh at the end of the sit-in called on officials to put an end to theft and activate supervision.

"We consider the Audit Department the cornerstone of supervisory bodies, which include the Central Inspection Department and the Civil Service includes 50 judges and general prosecution," the activist said.

He highlighted the right of the Lebanese to be informed about the complaints as well as that of those who expose corruption of receiving protection, calling on the state to implement a bill that considers illegal wealth a civil offence.

The statement urged the supervisory bodies to refer the corruption charges and cases to the General and Financial prosecutions.

It concluded by calling for new parliamentary elections to change the current political elite under a new proportional electoral law.

"We will continue our fight against the corrupt authorities until the end... change is a national and moral duty."

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