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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July 31, 2011

The Daily Star - Lebanon's Arabic press digest - July 31, 2011

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese and pan-Arab newspapers Sunday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
An-Nahar: Moving ahead with national dialogue
After protest yesterday by officials over the publication of the names, photographs and profiles of the four men accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, it appeared that this is a routine procedure in foreign courts, and is thus not “extraordinary.”
Also yesterday, President Michel Sleiman continued his national dialogue meetings with Lebanese leaders. He received the head of the Future Movement Fouad Siniora at Baabda Palace. Sources said the aim of the dialogue is to "enable Lebanon to pass through the current phase and ensure a future of national cohesion and understanding among the Lebanese."
Siniora said the meeting offered “a variety of topics related to the elections and dialogue, while focusing on the role of the state and the challenges it faces.” He added that he believes “for dialogue to be meaningful and worthwhile, it requires an infinite line of discussion.” He said this includes the subject of Hezbollah’s arms. He added that a timetable would be set for the implementation of decisions made at the dialogue meetings.
Regarding security, Hezbollah’s media office said that the explosion that occurred the day before yesterday in Rweis was caused by a gas bottle explosion, which caused no injuries and only minor damage in the surrounding area. Meanwhile, several media outlets reported that the explosion was aimed at the former prisoner Samir Kantar, who lives in the area where the blast took place.
Asharq Al-Awsat: The “ghosts” accused of assassinating Hariri
In televised interviews with Beirut residents following the news of the charges of the Hariri assassination and the release of the names, photos and profiles of the accused, those interviewed said they didn’t know anything about the four men or their family backgrounds.
And when visiting the towns of residence of the men, residents said they knew nothing of the suspects. A source pointed out that “these are often silhouettes or ghosts, able to hide their identities” for security reasons, making the posting of the photos and the dissemination of the information of these characters obsolete. What is known is that all of the suspects are from Hezbollah strongholds.
According to the source, the accused are counting on the support of the party to protect them indefinitely. He pointed out that the possibility of dealing with Hezbollah in this matter is seemingly impossible due to several factors, most importantly geographically, psychologically and in terms of security. It would be difficult to arrest the accused without the consent of the party.
Al-Hayat: Siniora announces the need to start dialogue on arms
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and President Michel Sleiman yesterday said that the Future bloc is calling for the resumption of national dialogue, including addressing the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons. They said that this was the remaining item on the agenda of the national dialogue that began in 2006.
Meanwhile, it appears that France might be considering the withdrawal of its troops from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon following an attack on their convoy on Tuesday July 26 in Sidon, wounding five.
French sources told Al-Hayat that withdrawal of French troops from Lebanon is now on the table.
The source noted that Paris is awaiting the results of the Lebanese government and United Nations investigation into the incident. The source added that “the bombing took place in the south, and everyone knows who controls the south.”
The source said there was a feeling that French participation in UNIFIL was a kind of trap for France, saying that questions still remained over guarantees over U.N. resolution 1701.
On the domestic front Lebanese leaders are continuing the process of national dialogue, working on demarcating their maritime borders and celebrating the 66th anniversary of the Lebanese Army.
On the occasion of the anniversary, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, “The first and last thing is to protect Lebanon and defend all its land, its people and their dignity.”

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