This blog of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) aims at granting the public opinion access to all information related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon : daily press review in english, french and arabic ; UN documents, etc...

Ce blog du
Centre Libanais des droits humains (CLDH) a pour objectif de rendre accessible à l'opinion publique toute l'information relative au Tribunal Spécial pour le Liban : revue de presse quotidienne en anglais, francais et arabe ; documents onusiens ; rapports, etc...


UN Probe May Put Syrian between a Rock, Hard Place

Associated Press - UN Probe May Put Syrian between a Rock, Hard Place, September 28, 2005

By Hamza Hendawi

After other setbacks, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad could be shaken to its core if a UN investigation finds evidence of Syrian involvement in the death of a former Lebanese Premier. It's been a rough year so far for Syrian President Bashar Assad, and it may get even rougher. With tensions high after another Lebanon bombing last weekend, Assad's regime could be shaken to its core if a U.N. probe points to Syrian involvement in the murder of a former Lebanese prime minister. So far this year, Assad has endured a humiliating pullout from Lebanon, ending 29 years of Syrian domination over its tiny neighbor. The man who came to power five years ago also has been at the receiving end of increasingly menacing U.S. demands to stop insurgents from going into Iraq. A U.N. probe into the Feb. 14 killing of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri is led by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who is due to present his findings to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Oct. 21. With only a few friends left to turn to, Assad flew to Egypt on Sunday to enlist the help of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally, according to two officials familiar with the contents of their talks.
Mubarak: Cooperate
Mubarak advised Assad to fully cooperate with the probe and surrender any Syrians named by the U.N. investigators as accomplices in the killing, said the officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The Egyptian leader also counseled that Assad order a halt to harshly anti-U.S. comments by Syrian officials and in the state-run media. But Mubarak's plea for cooperation is potentially difficult for Assad because the search by U.N. investigators for conspirators could lead them to senior Syrian security officials , members of Assad's inner circle or even family members. Some Assad family members hold powerful positions in the intelligence and security services. Assad would be risking his credibility at home if he were to hand over suspects to U.N. or Lebanese investigators, especially because Syrian media and officials have for months been suggesting that the probe had a political slant.
No Easy Option
Failure to comply with extradition requests, on the other hand, could prompt the United States and France to take measures such as obtaining a U.N. Security Council resolution slapping punitive measures on Syria, including economic and trade sanctions. Or it could lead to the freezing of assets or even a ban on foreign travel by senior officials. ''He is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't,'' Rosemary Morris, a Middle East expert at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, said of Assad's predicament. “Who will trust him again in his country if he hands over Syrians to be tried?'' Syria's media, which reflects government thinking, all but ignored a visit to Syria last week by Mehlis to question officials in connection with Hariri's death.
Neither Mehlis nor Syria disclosed the names of the Syrians questioned by the U.N. team. Lebanese media have said they included Syria's last intelligence chief in Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Rustum Ghazale; two aides; and Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan, intelligence chief in Lebanon until three years ago. The Syrian media's treatment of Mehlis' visit, says dissident Michel Kilo, showed the absence of a cohesive government strategy to deal with a potentially dangerous issue. ''There has been confusion in the way we dealt with all major issues in the past two years,'' said Kilo, by telephone in Damascus. ``If half of what we hear is true, then we are faced with a very dangerous situation and have reason to be very concerned.''

Full International Backing for Lebanon,Isolation for Syria

Daily Star - Full International Backing for Lebanon,Isolation for Syria, September 20, 2005

By Nada Bakri, Majdoline Hatoum and Nafez Qawas
The U.S. and France increased Syria's isolation as it demanded that it stop all meddling in Lebanon and Iraq and fully cooperate with the UN investigation team into the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. At a conference held at the initiative of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during which the world's major players gathered to provide Lebanon with economic and political backing, Rice and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan demanded that Syria stop interfering in Lebanon, cooperate with the UN probe team and prevent insurgents from entering Iraq. Rice and Annan were accompanied by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abdel-Gheith, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who all gave their support after Siniora presented his government's reform plan. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana also took part. Rice also reiterated the U.S.'s position on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 and the disarmament of Hizbullah, saying: "No democracy can exist when a certain group, especially in the government, which persists in maintaining the option of violence." She added: "There is one authority and one security force that reports to that authority." She also said Damascus must remain "true to the letter and the spirit of Resolution 1559." Rice said participants in the meeting, held on the sidelines of the UN's 60th General Assembly, wanted "full [Syrian] cooperation with the Mehlis [UN] investigation and that the truth be found whatever that truth is." Rice further demanded that Syria withdraw all remaining intelligence personnel from Lebanon "because Lebanon has to be free of foreign interference and Syria must respect the national sovereignty of Lebanon." Syria withdrew its troops and intelligence forces from Lebanon on April 26 under heavy Lebanese and international pressure, but the U.S. and leading opposition politicians say that intelligence personnel still remain in the country. Rice said: "It is clear that Syria needs to get on the right side of the events that are going on in the Middle East that means to cut off the routes that insurgents are using to use Syrian territory to penetrate into Iraq." Rice added: "This gathering I think, sends a powerful sign to the world, that the international community is devoted and committed to a peaceful prosperous, democratic and sovereign Lebanon." Speaking during a news conference after the meeting, Annan said: "The international community remains steadfast in its determination to ensure outside actors end all interference in the domestic affairs of Lebanon and invite all parties within Lebanon to commit themselves to peaceful democratic reforms and regional stability." Douste-Blazy also warned Syria against interference in Lebanon. He said: "For Syria, the most important thing is that there be no meddling [in Lebanon] either by its military or by its intelligence services. Lebanon can count on France." Faisal said, "The criminal hands that assassinated Hariri aimed at keeping Lebanon in a state of instability, but the result was the rise of a new and independent Lebanon and we will support it with all our efforts." Lebanon has one of the highest national debts in the world, measured at 165 percent of its Gross National Product or about $36 billion. Siniora hopes to win international debt relief, although most of the debt is held by Lebanese creditors, and pledges to stimulate the country's economy. Siniora said: "Today, Lebanon is at the threshold of a new dawn. With the goodwill and support of the international community and the determination of the Lebanese people, we have a real chance of achieving our goals." Siniora's appeal before the conference coincided with Lebanese President Lahoud's speech to the UN summit. But Lahoud defiantly praised Lebanon's "staunchly national movement of resistance and defense of Lebanon's territorial integrity," in reference to Hizbullah, thus rejecting the implementation of Resolution 1559. Lahoud said: "Lebanon has long endured from Israel's wars and occupation. This gave birth to a staunchly national movement of resistance and defense of Lebanon's territories as guaranteed by UN Charter under the 'right to fight occupation.'" There were no announcements of any new proposals aside from a commitment to hold a conference in Beirut by the end of the year to show support.

Background - خلفية

On 13 December 2005 the Government of the Lebanese Republic requested the UN to establish a tribunal of an international character to try all those who are alleged responsible for the attack of 14 february 2005 that killed the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others. The United Nations and the Lebanese Republic consequently negotiated an agreement on the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Liens - Links - مواقع ذات صلة

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, David Schenker , March 30, 2010 . Beirut Spring: The Hariri Tribunal Goes Hunting for Hizballah

Frederic Megret, McGill University, 2008. A special tribunal for Lebanon: the UN Security Council and the emancipation of International Criminal Justice

International Center for Transitional Justice Handbook on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, April 10, 2008

United Nations
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 19 Sept 2007
Conférence de presse de Nicolas Michel, 27 Mars 2008

Département d'Etat américain
* 2009 Human Rights report
* 2008 Human Rights report
* 2007 Human Rights report
* 2006 Human Rights report
* 2005 Human Rights report

ICG - International Crisis Group
The Hariri Tribunal: Separate the Political and the Judicial, 19 July, 2007. [Fr]

HCSS - Hague Centre for strategic studies
Hariri, Homicide and the Hague

Human Rights Watch
* Hariri Tribunal can restore faith in law, 11 may 2006
* Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, april 27, 2006

Amnesty International
* STL insufficient without wider action to combat impunity
* Liban : le Tribunal de tous les dangers, mai 2007
* Jeu de mecano

Courrier de l'ACAT - Wadih Al Asmar
Le Tribunal spécial pour le Liban : entre espoir et inquiétude

Georges Corm
La justice penale internationale pour le Liban : bienfait ou malediction?

Nadim Shedadi and Elizabeth Wilmshurt, Chatham House
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon : the UN on Trial?, July 2007

Issam Michael Saliba, Law Library of Congress
International Tribunals, National Crimes and the Hariri Assassination : a novel development in International Criminal Law, June 2007

Mona Yacoubian, Council on Foreign Relations
Linkages between Special UN Tribunal, Lebanon, and Syria, June 1, 2007