Guardians of the Cedars-National Lebanese Movement
Central Directorate

February 1/2000

The Party's weekly press release:
Taef Government's campaign & the Lebanese detainees in Khiam and Israeli prisons

The Taef imposed Lebanese regime has intensified lately its campaign for the release of Lebanese detainees in both Israeli and Southern Lebanon prisons. An active public and official movement has been established for this purpose. The movement has been lobbying for its objectives among l Lebanese communities throughout the world, foreign governments, Security Council and International Human Rights groups.

In this context, our Party would like to clarify the following facts to those with poor memory:

1-What is referred to, as "Israeli occupation" of a part of South Lebanon is in fact a temporary Israeli presence dictated by well-known security conditions. The Israelis will withdraw when these conditions cease to exist. There are no Israeli plans or desire to control any Lebanese land or water resources, whereas Syrian presence in Lebanon is an occupation to the country according to every known worldwide criterion. Syria's vicious plans to annex Lebanon, confiscate its resources, destroy its sovereignty, force its people into exile and  nullify its identity and history are evident facts sensed and lived by all the Lebanese for the last twenty years.

2-What Beirut's regime refer to as Israeli agents, are in reality patriotic Lebanese citizens struggling hand by hand with Israel for a common cause and against a common enemy. Their relationship with Israeli is based on equality and mutual respect, and not on subservience as the Beirut regime puppets vociferate constantly. Moreover, they refuse to give up a single inch of territory to Israel. Meanwhile the Taef regime is a Syrian puppet, appointed by Syrian and works to serve Syria's interests. The regime does not only assume a shameful collaborating roll, but also is selling the land, the national dignity, betraying the people and destroying the country's Sovereignty and Independence.

3-As for the detainees in South Lebanon and Israeli jails, they are not innocent as the mercenary media in Beirut claims. They are not detained arbitrarily and the hands of many of them are stained with Lebanese blood. Others were arrested for reasons related to security in the Neutral Zone. This zone has become the Lebanese last hope for ending Syria's hegemony and the last Lebanese oasis of freedom in a desert of Syrian repression.

4-The Lebanese detainees in South Lebanon (Khiam Jail), are less then few dozen. They are regularly allowed to receive visits from their parents, accompanied by the Lebanese and International Red Cross. The Beirut regime has, in addition, allocated to each of their families 400,000 Lebanese Pounds per month as well as free tuition and medical coverage. Whereas the hundreds of Lebanese prisoners in Syrian jails are held arbitrarily without trials or clear charges isolated from the outside world and deprived from all their legal rights. Syrian authorities do not even allow the Red Cross or the Human Rights organization to visit these innocent victims. Some of them have been in detention for more than twenty years.

5-The Lebanese detainees in Syrian jails are exposed to torture and many of them have died or suffer of serious physical and mental diseases. Beirut's Syrian installed regime ignores completely the fate of these victims, does not take any measure to ensure their release and does not support financially their families. The very few who were lucky to be released came out physically and/or mentally disabled!
We wonder why Beirut's regime is focusing only on those detained in South Lebanon and Israel while keeps a blind eye on the fate of hundreds of its citizens detained arbitrarily in Syria? Why  double standards are used, aren't those detained in Syria Lebanese citizens? The only crime they committed is their affiliation to groups, denominations and parties that oppose Syrian occupation to their country!
Most astonishing is the tragicomedy demonstration of the four mothers in Israel in favor of the Khiam detainees rather than for those jailed because of their alliance with Israel to defend their independence and dignity against Syrian-Iranian despotism, directly or through their stooges!

These facts are declared in a bid to:
Speak on behalf of all the Lebanese who are muzzled and coerced by Syrian repression. 
To witness for the truth and defend our people's rights.
To make the whole world aware of Lebanon's bitter Syrian occupation.
To ensure the people of Lebanon support all efforts in action to Liberate their country and free their detainees.

At the Service of Lebanon,
the Chief,
Etienne Sacre.