Lebanese General Security authorities detained Mr. Nizar al-Sharaa

November 19, 2012

On Monday 17/11/2012, and during his presence in the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security in order to settle the issues pertaining to his residency on the Lebanese territory, the Lebanese General Security authorities detained Mr. Nizar al-Sharaa acting on a search warrant issued by the Public Prosecution in Mount Lebanon, based on a personal claim filed by the Syrian embassy in Beirut against him, for extortion and impersonation. Mr. Nizar al- Sharaa is a former administrative cadre in the Syrian embassy in Beirut, and was accredited by the Syrian Embassy to monitor the situation of detainees in Lebanon and represent the Syrian embassy in legal conferences. He was also in charge of network communications and other technical matters inside the embassy due to his expertise in the field. It is  worth noting that Mr. Nizar al-Sharaa had left his job at the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon several months ago as a protest against the actions of the Syrian regime against peaceful Syrian protesters, and has joined the Syrian working group in "LIFE" to pursue the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon since twenty days ago. Before the appearance of Mr. Nizar al-Sharaa before the Investigating Judge in Mount Lebanon on the said day, and during his presence in the Palace of Justice in Baabda, one of the Internal Security Forces officers approached him, and after he inquired about his file and identity, he beat him and punched him in the face, which lead to a complete disability in his right eye and to swelling in his face. Defense attorneys demanded to open an investigation and arrest the offender to transfer him to the relevant judicial authority.

The offending security officer was arrested and transferred to the behavioral investigation unit, and both the General Prosecutor’s Office in Mount Lebanon and the Internal Security Forces have issued the command to transfer Mr. Nizar al-Sharaa to the medical examiner for a diagnosis.

In regard to these events, LIFE holds the Lebanese authorities fully responsible for breeching international conventions pertaining to the protection of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and for the complete adoption of the point of view of the Syrian government and its representatives in Lebanon as to the persecution of Syrian political opponents, especially dissident Syrian civil servants. Furthermore, the Lebanese government is to be held responsible for not purging its security apparatuses from undisciplined elements that act upon political and intellectual instincts, while these elements must be unbiased and respectful of laws and Human Rights, the thing that has inflicted many detainees in security detention facilities with enormous violations, especially torture, based on political and sectarian grounds. Thus, LIFE has cautioned the Lebanese government from the expansion of such a negative phenomenon in security apparatuses. However, the government has not reformed any of thesaid issues, which have been worsening and expanding, thus breeching the rights of many detainees in the shadow of a governmental nonchalance regarding the crimes that Lebanon has committed itself to fighting.

LIFE considers that the government’s approval on keeping the activities of the Syrian regime’s embassy in Lebanon is greatly jeopardizing the humanitarian and legal conditions of dozens of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, who are mostly opponents of Bashar Assad’s regime. After these people were directly exposed to abduction and deportation by the Syrian Embassy in Beirut, the latter has taken its legal status as an excuse for launching a systemic pursuit against the dissidents, at a time when some countries have acknowledged the Syrian opposition coalition as well as its diplomatic representation.

Therefore, based on the aforementioned, LIFE demands the Lebanese government to expel the Syrian Ambassador in Lebanon immediately, and to annul all actions and measures taken by the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon as a moral personality on the territories of the Lebanese Republic, due to its role that contradicts diplomatic function, and the Syrian and international situation in general. Furthermore, the self-exclusion policy adopted by the Lebanese government prevents it from being biased to any partisan point of view pertaining to the Syrian conflict; especially that the role of the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon has become restricted to instigation against the members of the Syrian opposition and persecuting them, instead of tending to the issues of the Syrian residents in Lebanon, which has lead many of them to refrain from going to the Syrian Embassy out of fear of being abducted and maltreated, and thus have lost any legal cover.

Executive Director: Atty. Nabil El-Halabi
Beirut, 19/11/2012

Nabil El-Halabi

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