Horrible atrocities inflicted on Christians

Horrible atrocities inflicted on Christians in occupied Lebanon
By: A Lebanese Christain University Student

Read what happened to me on September 14/2001 at hour 16:00

Like every year we all gathered for the mass of Sheik Bashir Gemayel,
the man - the soldier - the leader - the president - the martyr. This
year due to much work at my office I could not be there like usual
ahead of time. I actually arrived late. The church was full and so
were the streets leading to it. You could feel the presence of this
great man in the eyes of the youth, mostly who don't even know him,
after 19 years of his physical absence.

A night before we had received phone calls threatening us not to be
present in the mass.. But it's Bashir's mass, how could we not be
present? You could see the "mukhabarat" (army intelligence) all
around us in the church. They were actually taking pictures of the
men and women inside. As we walked out from the church I felt that
this year there will be something special for us. A nice surprise
awaited us as we marched towards where Bashir had martyred.

Tens of "mukhabarat" were waiting for us. They pointed at each one
they liked, and their big gorillas pulled those individuals away from
the crowd. We had gotten information about that couple of minutes
before, but there was nothing we could do, but walk
and hope that our turn won't come. But>something within me told me that
this year, my turn would come.
As we marched I saw one of the "mukhabarat" point at me . I knew then
that my time had surely come. Within seconds I was being pulled away
by 2 men, away from the crowds and into a building that was occupied
by these civilian soldiers. As I was pulled away from my brothers, I
could see that helpless look in their eyes that broke my heart to
pieces. We walked into the entrance of this old building and a slap
right across my face greeted me as my shirt was taken off. I could
see another guy whom they had also pulled from street, who was there
before me and a step ahead of me in their barbaric
procedure, and thus I took a glance of what was to become of me and
that helped me to be somewhat ready, as I expected the worse.

After searching me throughout, I was blindfolded using
my own t-shirt. And then it started, slapping, hitting, kicking
that came from everywhere. I could not see anything except the cross
on the rosary I have around my neck.. What a beautiful cross, so
peaceful yet so powerful; and indeed it lifted up my spirit. I was
being pushed without being actually able to see in front of me. We
went up one floor and into one of the flats. (Remember I could not
see anything). I was made to sit on a chair, as they took my t-shirt
off and put a specially made piece of cloth over my eyes and part of
my nose. I was handcuffed from behind my back and through a chair.

Meanwhile the slaps, kicks and their renowned
beautiful vocabulary followed every step of the way. Then the questioning
began, though it was not the first time I was being interrogated, it
was indeed the first time it was done in such a manner.
Questions.questions.. questions.. (Please do not for a single moment think
that everything had calmed down and I was just being asked questions).
Their hospitality exceeded ALL expectations. A liar,
son-of-a-bitch, an agent for the enemies, ruining my country's
reputation, a threat to security, a cock-sucker, a dog, an animal, my sister a
bitch, and my mother whore, a sample of the names they gave me. And
the kick andslaps and punches went on and on and on. It felt like
hours had passed¦ but I was in there not more than 30 minutes.

What really struck me was the quantity of people that were being
brought in, of course I could only hear them. I heard a girl shout
out "I cannot believe this, what you think we are animals." next
thing I hear was a slap sound.. and the girl started weeping. I
wanted to hold her soooooo much and tell her that it will be alright,
but. They continued their abuse on all of us. Suddenly they released
my hands and were guiding me out of the place, and some of them where
murmuring about taking us up to "the ministry of defense" (those of
you who follow the Lebanese politics, most know what that means). As
they got me up I was still blindfolded, the soldier would not allow
me to put my hands before me so as to not hit anything (I was still
blindfolded and shirtless), he said that he would guide me out, I
brought my hands down as he twisted my left arm. He guided me
alright, but into a wall. I could hear them laughing, he pulled me
away from the wall and said something about me being an animal for
not knowing where to go, and then he banged me into another wall as
they laughed some more.

I heard the voice of the soldier who initially pulled me away from my
brothers, getting closer (as if running towards me) while
saying: "where are you taking this son of a bitch, he was the one to
break my camera" and then he kicked me with his knee right below my
left ribs and then the punches hammered down on my stomach and back.
They are well trained to hit where it does not leave that much of a
trace, yet leaves you with agonizing pain. A look at my cross was
enough for me to realize that I will be okay. They sat me down again
as they swore at Bashir and ridiculed his memory and as they mocked
my rosary. Then this guy gets closer to me and holds my head as he
bangs his head on mine and talks with this soft voice telling me that
I could go now, but when the photos are developed if I happen to be
in any of them I will be brought back for further interrogation. He
then released my hands, put the shirt on me, guided me out of the
flat asked me to put my head down, he took the blindfold off and
asked me to walk away without looking backwards and I did just that.

I went down the stairs, crossed my face, spat. and went out. That my
dear friends is what happened with me last Friday evening, and that
is NOTHING in comparison to what went on with over 150 of the young
women and men of the Lebanese Forces who were present at Bashir's
mass. Some of my closest friends, who were there and were taken away,
underwent much forceful interrogation and for a much longer period.
Two of my friends were blindfolded and handcuffed behind their back
(like everyone else) and put on top of each other along with the rest
of bunch of people they were taking. As the vehicle pulled away a
soldier, kicked one of my friends on his back and made him fall out
of the truck as it sped away..The other friend stayed the whole night
in their hospitality, undergoing barbaric interrogation methods..
That is but a sample of that goes on with the Free Christian youth of
Lebanon. That is but a simple illustration of what goes down EVERYDAY
with the free women and men of your Christian community, and how our
beloved government treats us. I am a witness to that. My head, legs,
back and neck are witness to that. The bruises all over my friends'
bodies tell the story of a free nation that refuses to kneel and
die.  As for you Bashir and the rest of our martyred comrades who
gave their lives for us to remain, we have taken an oath long ago to
remain faithful to the cause, to your blood, to Samir and the rest of
our comrades and to OUR Lebanon.. and we have.

Be confident that we will remain, Always. Always Faithful
long live Lebanon