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: Security Council Adopts Resolution Demanding Syrian Cooperation In Hariri Probe

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty - UN: Security Council Adopts Resolution Demanding Syrian Cooperation In Hariri Probe, October 31, 2005

By Robert McMahon
The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding Syria's full cooperation with a United Nations investigation into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The measure threatens "further action" against Syria in the event of noncompliance, which is weaker than initial language warning of sanctions. But sponsors of the measure say it shows Syria's increasing isolation. The Security Council resolution passed today calls on Syria to cooperate unconditionally with the UN investigation into Rafiq Hariri's killing in February. The measure says Syrian leaders must take into custody and make available to UN investigators suspects in the killing. This places pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because UN investigators want to question his brother and brother-in-law in the case. The unanimous vote by the 15-member council in New York included the participation of 12 foreign-minister-level officials. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Security Council the resolution should signal to Syria the gravity of its situation. "With our decision today we show that Syria has isolated itself from the international community through its false statements, its support for terrorism, its interference in the affairs of its neighbors and its destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. Now the Syrian government needs to make a strategic decision to fundamentally change its behavior," Rice said. The United States, Great Britain, and France, which sponsored the resolution, removed language threatening Syria with possible sanctions if it failed to cooperate. The softer language was urged by permanent council members China and Russia. The council action follows a report by a UN investigating commission, led by Detlev Mehlis of Germany, which implicated top Syrian and Lebanese officials in Hariri's killing. Syria has strongly denied the charges. The UN resolution on Syria supports travel bans and a freeze in the assets of Lebanese and Syrian officials and any other individuals who are declared suspects in Hariri's killing. The text does not invoke the UN Charter's Article 41, which allows economic embargoes to be imposed on countries or their national institutions. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned that the Security Council will pursue further moves in the event of noncompliance. "We are also, correctly, putting the government of Syria on notice that our patience has limits," he said. "Failure to cooperate fully and now will oblige us to consider further actions to ensure that the Security Council, through the commission [investigating Hariri's assassination], can play its part in the Lebanese government's determination to see justice done." Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, whose country currently holds the presidency of the council, told reporters action was necessary to contain a potentially volatile situation in Lebanon. "For the time being with a Lebanon that's been weakened, with the situation in Iraq, with the recent political developments in Iran, with the ongoing peace process in the Near East, a tough message that will address the circumstances that have produced a political assassination [is] very timely," Ungureanu said. Syrian media earlier today criticized the resolution as too heavily influenced by the United States. But President al-Assad has ordered the formation of a judicial committee to cooperate with the UN investigation and Lebanese judicial officials.

Bush Threatens Sanctions, Even Force, against Syria

Los Angeles Times - Bush Threatens Sanctions, Even Force, against Syria, October 26, 2005

By Maggie Farley
International pressure on Syria mounted Tuesday as the United States, France and Britain introduced a Security Council resolution threatening to consider sanctions if the country does not cooperate with a probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri. President Bush said he had not ruled out military action if Syria does not comply. Bush told Dubai-based television network Al-Arabiya that he preferred a diplomatic solution to what he views as Syria's persistent efforts to destabilize the Middle East, including possible involvement in Hariri's assassination. But when asked what the United States would do if Syria did not change its policies, he said: ``We're going to use our military. It is the last, very last option. No commander in chief likes to commit the military, and I don't. But on the other hand, you know, I have worked hard for diplomacy and I will continue to work the diplomatic angle on this issue.''
Bush's comments were echoed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said the United States had not eliminated any options regarding Syria. But the saber-rattling was seen by diplomats at the United Nations as an attempt to lend gravity to diplomatic efforts, rather than a brazen threat to send in troops. Those efforts intensified Tuesday, as the United States, France and Britain introduced their resolution, which also calls for freezing the assets of suspects in Hariri's slaying and banning their travel. The United Nations has been investigating the Feb. 14 bombing that killed Hariri, and the chief of the probe, Detlev Mehlis, told the Security Council on Tuesday that evidence pointed to the involvement of senior Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in a plot to kill Hariri. An early version of his report, which accidentally became public last week, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brother, brother-in-law and close friend carefully planned the assassination over several months, meeting in the house of the brother-in-law, Asef Shawkat. A witness described the alleged plot in detail, telling U.N. investigators that Shawkat held a gun to a man's head and forced him to make a videotape claiming he was the suicide bomber to make it appear that an extremist group was behind the killing. A videotape surfaced after the slaying, although it was widely rejected as a fraud. Mehlis expunged the names from the report hours before it was released, saying they were meant for the Security Council's eyes only. The men have not been detained. Mehlis said Syria had not been cooperative, stating that Assad refused to meet with his investigators, Foreign Minister Farouk Chara lied to them and the answers of other senior Syrian officials he interviewed were so uniform that they appeared to be coached. He asked for an extension of the investigation until Dec. 15 -- which was granted -- so he could interview Syrian officials privately, even taking them out of the country if necessary to protect them. Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad called Mehlis' report inaccurate, a rush to judgment and a way for Washington to push its political agenda through the Security Council. ``Every paragraph in this report deserves comment to refute it,'' he said. But Mekdad pledged Syria's cooperation, and repeated Assad's promise to consider anyone found to be involved in the plot as a traitor and to put such people on trial. The foreign ministers of the 15 Security Council countries, plus Syria, will meet at a special session in New York on Monday during which the council is expected to vote on the proposed resolution. The draft text is unusually stringent, demanding ``substantive cooperation'' from Syria in the investigation, including detaining the Syrian officials whom Mehlis' team considers suspicious and making them available for private questioning. In preliminary negotiations, China, Russia and Algeria have resisted the idea of sanctions until Mehlis makes his final report Dec. 15. Russia's Foreign Ministry official Mikhail Kamynin warned in a statement Saturday that ``the settlement of this problem should in no way lead to the emergence of a new hotbed of tension and further destabilization in the Middle East.'' Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said Monday that China traditionally opposes sanctions as interference in a country's sovereignty.
``Not only in this case, but in many cases, when sanctions are mentioned, I am always frightened,'' he said. ``Syria indicated they have cooperated, and they want to cooperate. Let's wait and see.''

Accountability for Syria

Washington Post - Accountability for Syria, October 22, 2005

The Bush administration rightly reacted quickly to a report by the United Nations that compellingly links the Syrian government to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. President Bush said yesterday the U.N. Security Council should convene "as quickly as possible" to respond to the investigation; the United States and France are reportedly discussing two resolutions that would demand accountability from the government of Bashar Assad. The United States has plenty of reasons of its own to bring pressure on Mr. Assad, including his support for foreign terrorists and Sunni insurgents in Iraq. But the detailed report compiled by the U.N. commission clearly justifies -- indeed, makes urgent -- Security Council action. Citing multiple witnesses, documents and recordings of conversations, the investigation details both Syria's dispute with Mr. Hariri and the likely involvement of a number of senior officials in plotting his murder. It also reports the systematic stonewalling of the probe by the Syrian government. By insisting on full Syrian cooperation with the ongoing investigation, the Security Council has a rare opportunity to enforce consequences for a state-sponsored act of political murder. The Middle East has been poisoned by such acts for decades, yet almost never have the killers and their sponsors been identified and brought to justice. No regime merits such action more than the government of Mr. Assad, who since the fall of Saddam Hussein has stood out as the most conspicuous sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. In addition to brazen meddling in Iraq and in Lebanon, where bombings and assassinations linked to Damascus have continued in the months after Mr. Hariri's Feb. 14 slaying, Mr. Assad is a prime sponsor of terrorism against Israel. Another U.N. report next week is expected to link his government to the support of Hezbollah and infiltration of weapons and extremists into Palestinian refugee camps in Leba non. Some apologists have argued that Mr. Assad, who succeeded his father as Syria's dictator in 2000, is the victim of hard-liners in his government. The U.N. investigation showed otherwise. Chief investigator Detlev Mehlis of Germany compiled multiple accounts of a meeting on Aug. 26, 2004, between Mr. Assad and Mr. Hariri, in which Mr. Assad threatened to "break Lebanon over your head" if the prime minister did not go along with the illegal extension of the mandate of the Lebanese president, a Syrian puppet. Another Syrian witness told the investigation that the decision to murder Mr. Hariri was made at a later meeting attended by Mr. Assad's brother, Maher Assad, and his brother-in-law, Major Gen. Asef Shawkat. Also directly implicated is Gen. Rustum Ghazali, Syria's most recent intelligence chief in Lebanon, and its former ambassador in Washington, Walid Mouallem. Mr. Mehlis has compromising tape recordings of both of them, including a meeting in which Mr. Mouallem warned Mr. Hariri, two weeks before his death, that "we and the [security] services here have put you into a corner." Intriguingly, one senior official not implicated in the murder plot is Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, who was found in his office last week, dead of a gunshot wound, in what officials said was a suicide. The Security Council has a good precedent to follow here. When Western investigators linked the Libyan government to the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Scotland, the United Nations applied sanctions to the regime of Moammar Gaddafi and kept them in place until his government accepted responsibility for the crime and surrendered two of its authors for trial. The United Nations should demand no less in this case. The Syrian sponsors of Mr. Hariri's murder must be identified and brought to justice; if that includes Mr. Assad and his relatives, so be it.

US, France to Introduce UN Resolutions Against Syria

Washington Post - US, France to Introduce UN Resolutions Against Syria, October 19, 2005

By Robin Wright

The United States and France are planning to introduce two U.N. resolutions next week aimed at holding Syria to account for meddling in Lebanon and for its alleged links to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, according to several sources close to the diplomacy. The moves would be the toughest international action ever taken against Syria and would be designed to further isolate President Bashar Assad, who for the first time is getting the cold shoulder from key Arab governments such as those in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Western envoys said. The impending actions will be "the perfect storm for Damascus," said a Western diplomat at the United Nations, speaking on the condition of anonymity because planning is still underway. "It's pretty clear the Syrians don't have any friends left." The resolutions may be introduced as early as Tuesday, he said. They would follow two reports on Syria expected to be submitted over the next two days to the U.N. Security Council. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan discussed the reports and plans for new resolutions during a working breakfast in New York, said sources familiar with the talks. Rice has been engaged in diplomacy on Syria over the past week during travels to France, Russia and Britain. Rice requested the meeting, which was not announced until it was over. "The region and the world have a number of issues with Syrian behavior," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, adding that the Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian governments have all protested Syrian practices. The most crucial report expected to be delivered this week is from German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who will submit results of his U.N. investigation into the assassination of Hariri, who was Lebanon's leading reformer. Although the details of the report have been closely held, diplomats said they expect it to implicate Syria in the slaying of Hariri and 19 others in a Feb. 14 bombing, and to say that Syria has not fully complied with the investigation.
The U.N. envoy for Lebanon, Terje Roed-Larsen, is also scheduled to deliver a status report on Resolution 1559, which was co-sponsored by the United States and France last year. It calls for Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon and for the dismantling of militias. This report is expected to say that Syria has facilitated the flow of illicit arms and individuals into Palestinian camps in Lebanon, further undermining Lebanon's stability. Syria says it has complied with the United Nations by ending its 29-year occupation and withdrawing about 14,000 troops from Lebanon in April. It also denies any links to the Hariri bombing. "We have supported the Mehlis mission, and we have been cooperating with Mehlis," Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador to the United States, said yesterday. "We are absolutely categoric in saying we had nothing to do with Hariri. . . . If he does not reveal the truth, then this will allow certain people to point fingers here and there without any shred of evidence. "President Assad has said that if any Syrian individual has been party to this crime or implicated in the assassination of Hariri, then he has committed a treasonous crime." But key Security Council members have discussed extending the Mehlis mission until Dec. 15, which the U.N. chief can do without going to the Security Council. An extension could be used to continue probing or to provide a psychological boost for Lebanese authorities in persevering in the prosecution of Hariri's slaying, which unleashed the Cedar Revolution. The scope of any punitive action against Syria is also under discussion, diplomats said. The Bush administration has considered language critical of Syria for support of terrorism that could also be used to punish or pressure Damascus for aiding extremists in Iraq, envoys familiar with the diplomacy said. But France and other nations want the focus to be limited to Syria's intervention in Lebanon, mainly to prevent Arab backlash at a time of public anger over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Of particular concern is the position of Algeria, whose socialist government has been close to Damascus in the past. Also, Algeria is now the Arab representative on the 15-member Security Council. But U.S., European and U.N. officials say Assad's government is facing bleak prospects even in the Arab world. Last month, Assad visited Cairo to win support from Egypt, a political trendsetter that accounts for more than half the Arab population. Instead, U.S. and Arab envoys say, President Hosni Mubarak told him to comply fully with Mehlis -- and not to expect help if Syrian officials are implicated. After their first summit, held in Paris yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora issued a statement condemning the movement of arms and militants into the Palestinian refugee camps. At a joint news conference, Siniora said he and Abbas are specifically concerned about Syria's role.

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