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 9, 2016

The Daily Star- Salafist Assir case postponed a fifth time, November 09 , 2016

BEIRUT: The trial of notorious Salafist Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir was postponed for the fifth time Tuesday after Assir’s lawyers failed to show up at the session.
Head of the Military Court Judge Brig. Gen. Hussein Abdullah adjourned the trial until Jan. 10, 2017. Assir’s lawyers have long demanded that members of the Hezbollah-affiliated Resistance Brigades be tried for firing the first shots and initiating clashes with the Lebanese Army in 2013 in Sidon’s Abra area. The radical preacher also supported his lawyers’ decision not to attend until evidence they provided to the court, with alleged proof of the involvement of the Resistance Brigades, is examined.
Without a legal team, Assir’s trial, which is bundled in with that of a number of his supporters who were involved in the 2013 clashes, cannot progress. Attorney Mohammad al-Murad, who represents all defendants in the case other than Assir, Tuesday requested that the co-defendants have their case separated from Assir’s, as continued obstruction of progress is delaying his clients’ trial.
“Some detainees have been in custody for four years, and we refuse to remain Assir’s prisoners while he has the right to defend himself in the way he sees correct,” Murad said.
He argues that Article 501 of the civil law applies, as it states that joint cases may be separated if deemed appropriate for speeding up a case. Murad added: “We know that the judiciary is resolute on a suspect’s rights. However, we also demand the swift prosecution of the remaining detainees.” The presiding judge said he was ready to discuss any steps that would speed up the judicial process, calling on the Beirut Bar Association to present their advice on what should be done next.
Suspect Mohammad Salah, one of the detainees, refused to have his case separated, saying he also refused to be prosecuted while the people who he claimed started the Abra battles remained at large. Murad withdrew from representing Salah in the case, asking him to find another lawyer.
Following the end of the hearing, Assir called on the judiciary to look into his treatment by the authorities.
“I am transferred from Roumieh Prison to the court, and I wait in the car blindfolded and handcuffed until the time of my hearing ... I am sick and this negatively affects my health. I ask the judiciary to look into this with the concerned parties,” Assir told the court.
A military judge last year recommended the death penalty for Assir and 56 of his supporters. The preacher was arrested last August after being on the run for more than two years. He was caught at Beirut airport trying to flee to Nigeria via Cairo using a fake Palestinian passport. He is charged with leading battles in 2013 which left 18 soldiers and some 40 militants dead. He was widely believed to be hiding in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh, along with famous Lebanese singer Fadl Shaker.
Sheikh Khaled Mohammad, also known as Khaled Hoblos, Monday admitted to sheltering Assir in Tripoli for some time after being ordered to do so by the Committee of Muslim Scholars.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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