The following is a
letter from the American Lebanese Institute that was sent
to all members of Congress:
Thursday, August 11, 2001
Subject: Illegal arrests in Lebanon
We would like to call your attention to the unfolding situation in Lebanon in which at least 150 members of the Lebanese opposition have been arrested by the Lebanese security services within the past 24 hours. Those arrested are opponents of the Syrian backed government as well as the continued Syrian occupation of Lebanon. They include a number of student political leaders. These are members of several organizations which comprise a popular movement in Lebanon calling for the return of freedom, democracy and of Lebanon's sovereignty, beginning with the withdrawal of some 40,000 Syrian troops and intelligence operatives in the country.
Yesterday Congressman Eliot Engel of the House International Relations Committee wrote: "United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 calls for the "strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon." By demanding Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon, these members of the opposition are merely pressing for the full implementation of the mandates of the Security Council. Moreover, the arrests of these individuals are an attack on the Lebanese people and their right of political expression." Our organization, The American Lebanese Institute, represents the views and aspirations of over 3 million Americans of Lebanese descent throughout the US. Each of you no doubt has Lebanese American constituents. On their behalf, and more importantly on behalf of those who have been imprisoned in Lebanon for expressing their point of view, we would like to ask you to condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms. Please let this be known as soon as possible to the President and the Secretary of State. Your immediate attention to this matter is of crucial importance to all freedom loving people.
American Lebanese Institute
Member, Council of Lebanese American Organizations (CLAO)
2077 National Press Building
Washington, DC 20045