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 Hariri ally describes Lebanon crackdown as unconstitutional

(AFP) - A member of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's parliamentary group described the recent crackdown on Christian anti-Syrian activists as "unconstitutional", the press reported Sunday. "The constitution was violated over the past few weeks because it was up to the cabinet and no other party to decide", MP Walid Ido said. Between August 5 and 8, some 200 Christian activists opposed to the Syrian presence in Lebanon were rounded up by the military intelligence services, with the approval of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. Ido also warned without naming them "those who intend to push Hariri towards resignation", that the prime minister will not quit. Hariri is due to return Sunday from his holiday in Sardinia. Before he left, ten days ago, he vigorously criticized the army round-up which Lahoud backed without informing the government. During its latest session, held in the absence of six ministers close to the president, the cabinet had unanimously demanded those responsible for the "unjustified abuses" during the crackdown "be made answerable". Lawyers have said that some of the Christian activists rounded-up on charges on plotting with the Israelis against Syria and Lebanon, were arrested brutally. Syria wields great influence in Lebanon, where it still has thousands of troops stationed.

Detainee Announces Hunger Strike

Antoine Urian, detained since August 5 for handing out tracts, announced he has started an open hunger strike until all charges against Aouns supporters were dropped and officials responsible for inhumane treatment and oppression were punished. The hunger striker was among scores of Christian activists arrested by the Security Forces for handing out tracts calling for the Syrian troops withdrawal from Lebanon.

Damascus Tightens Grip on Lebanon
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 00:00:36 +0300
From its status as a satellite country of Syria, Lebanon appears to be gradually turning into a region attached directly to its powerful neighbor. Syrian security and intelligence agencies are ubiquitous in Lebanon, as can be seen by the crackdown on demonstrations by the Christian opposition in the first week of August.Arrests of Christians carried out by Lebanese military intelligence under general Raymond Azar and by the Lebanese state security organization led by general Edouard Mansour were ordered directly by Damascus. The order came from general Ghazi Kenaan, head of Syria's intelligence network in Lebanon. Syrian units operate completely independently in Lebanon and consider their counter-parts in Beirut to be at their beck and call. Telephone tapping is done exclusively at Syria's order, and an agent from Damascus is on duty at every Lebanese telephone exchange. The docility of Lebanese military and police officials stems from long-standing Syrian policy. This consists of grooming Lebanese staff in Syrian military and police academies and picking those most favorable to Syrian doctrine for fast promotion.

Harb supports' lifting journalists immunity in case collaboration with Israel is confirmed
Lebanese MP and lawyer Boutros Harb considered any attempt to strike the Lebanese liberties as an attempt to sap the foundations of the Lebanese entity. Harb also supported the stance of the Editor's Association in lifting the immunity of arrested journalists Antoine Bassil and Habib Younes in case their collaboration with Israel was confirmed. In such a case, Harb assured he would stop defending them. He also pointed out that the current investigations with Dr Toufic Hindi and journalist Habib Younes have been done in an inhuman condition and that the confessions have been taken under coercion. Harb added that all the preliminary investigation were unlawful and untrustworthy

AUGUST 23/2001

Dr.Hindi was rushed to the hospital
LCCC: Latest news from Beirut indicated that Dr. Tawfic Hindi was rushed to the Military hospital yesterday evening after his physical condition badly deteriorated. Dr. Hindi who was abducted and detained by the puppet Lebanese regime is a prominent leader in the Lebanese Forces Christian party. The regime exposed him to torture, intimidation, exhaustion and inhuman treatment. He is falsely accused of treason (contacting the Jewish state is a ready-made charge for opponents of the regime and the Syrian occupation).

Al Breaking News :
Two Lebanese nationals could be facing the death penalty
after being accused by a military court of links with
Israel, judicial sources said on Tuesday.
Tufiq Hindi, political advisor to the outlawed Lebanese
Forcesmilitia, and journalist Antoine Bassil from Saudi-
owned MBC television were charged late on Monday, they said.
They were accused of "contacts with the enemy, entering
enemy terrority, forming a group to undermine state
authority and harm Lebanon's relations with a sisterly
Two other LF members were accused of failing to inform on
Hindi and Bassil.

Report from Beirut
Support of Lebanese in Detention and Exile
Last night the Lebanese army intelligence broke into the cabin of Mrs.Claude Hajjar in the summer resort of Safra Marine. Mrs. Hajjar was in the cabin with her daughter Jennifer (22 years old). The army intelligence arrested both women and confiscated Mrs. Hajjar's computer, papers, pictures and material that belonged to her. Late at night, Jennifer was released and Mrs. Hajjar remained at the ministry of defense.
Claude Hajjar is a very active environmentalist and human rights activist. She was active with 'Greenpeace' in Lebanon as long as with the committee of the families of the Lebanese detainees in Syria and 'Solide'. Taking her in because she is a close friend of the editor-in-chief of 'al-Hayat' newspaper in Beirut, Mr. Habib Younes, puts the safety of all her friends at risk too.
Taking into consideration the severe violations of her constitutional rights and the common practice of torture and ill-treatment at the ministry of defense, an urgent action is needed to ensure the immediate release of Mrs. Hajjar and an end to the series of illegal abductions. The series of arrests, if not stopped, will move from one friend to another based on unfounded allegations and statements given under torture and physical and moral abuse.

Al Breaking News :

Two Syrian workers were killed Sunday and two others were
injured by the accidental explosion of a hand grenade they
were handling in a Christian suburb of Beirut, police said.

The incident took place on the third floor of a building in
Nabaa, a densely populated neighbourhood of the Lebanese
capital, police said.

An investigation was launched to determine why the Syrians
had the grenade in their possession, police added.

Bomb explodes on main drinking water pipe
A charge placed by unknown persons exploded yesterday under the main pump pipe of drinking water, situated between the villages of Flawi and Bedawi, 12 Km west of Baalbeck. The explosion left a big hole in the water pipe that feeds 21 villages with water from the Yamouneh lake. The accident cut drinking war from the villages of the region, from Flawi to Ablah. The engineering brigade of the Lebanese Army examined the place of the explosion and members of the Deir Al Ahmar police division started an investigation. It is to mention that on the 7th of August, unidentified individuals blew up the main distributor in the town of Dar Al Wassaa on the same line of the pump pipe.

Dr Hindi health situation . Click here

Nadim Lteif report arabic. Click here Click here