LEBANESE-CANADIAN NGOs DENOUNCE THE ARBITRARY CHARGES LAID BY THE SYRIAN-APPOINTED
LEBANESE GOVERNMENT AGAINST THE CANADIAN CITIZEN MR. BRUCE BALFOUR
Toronto - Canada
Lebanon's politicized judiciary & Mr. B. Balfour's arbitrary detention
Once again, we the undersigned Canadian-Lebanese groups and organizations strongly urge our Canadian government to adopt a more aggressive policy towards the Syrian-appointed Lebanese regime in regards to the violations it is committing against Canada and the Canadians, both in Canada and in Lebanon. It is well known from current and past political experience that dictatorships, like the one imposed by Syria on the Lebanese, respond only to serious and determined firmness.
We all regretfully recall the humiliating and threatening comments made last year by Beirut's ambassador to Canada after the banning of the terrorist organization Hizbollah sponsored by the Lebanese regime. Although his comments were a frontal attack on Canada's democracy and civil peace, as well as against the Lebanese-Canadian community, the ambassador was not expelled and his case was handled very leniently.
Now the Beirut regime has arbitrarily jailed a respected and law-abiding Canadian citizen, Mr. Bruce Balfour, and kept his detention secretive for almost two weeks before notifying the Canadian government, infringing on his basic human rights and breaching international covenants. Mr. Balfour is now charged by the Lebanese judiciary with collaboration with Israel.
We strongly believe that Mr. Balfour's case is a fabricated one, a payback to Canada for banning Hizbollah, and a retaliation message from both Syria and Iran in regards to the unresolved cases of the two Canadian citizens, Maher Arar (imprisoned in Syria) and Ms. Kazemi's (murdered in Iran). Mr. Balfour's case is no more than an arm-twisting Syrian-Iranian strategy against bold and courageous Canadian foreign policy.
It is worth mentioning that after invading Lebanon in 1976, Syria completed its occupation of the entire country in 1990 by using military force to expel the country's legitimate government into exile, murdering hundreds of Lebanese civilians, and installing a puppet subservient regime. Since that time Lebanon's judiciary has completely lost its independence and credibility and has become yet another tool of repression and revenge against all those Lebanese citizens and leaders who oppose the status quo of the Syrian occupation. Lebanon's judiciary is indeed biased and politicized, and lacks impartiality on account of it having being Syrianized and Iranized. It is used to oppress, harass, intimidate, torture, imprison, persecute and subdue.
We again urge our Canadian government to utilize all available means and resources to secure the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Bruce Balfour and to start dealing with this Syrian-appointed Lebanese regime for what it is, an oppressive collaborator traitor that does not represent its own people, but rather the interests of its puppeteer in Damascus, the Baathist regime of Bashar Assad.
The Canadian-Lebanese community greatly appreciates Mr. Bruce Balfour's volunteer work aiming at restoring Lebanon's national symbol, the famed Biblical Holy Cedars.
Long Live Canada, Long Live A Liberated Free Lebanon
Canadians For Lebanon 10452 km2/ Yehya Mahmoud
Lebanese Information Centre (LIC)/ William Azzi
Council Of The Lebanese Canadian Organizations (COLCO)/ Robet Hanna
Canadian Lebanese Cultural Club (CLCC)/ Maroun Aoun
World Lebanese Organization (WLO)/ Charbel Barakat
Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)/ Edmond El Chidiac
LebaneseCanadian Coordinating Councel (LCCC)/ Elias Bejjani
Phone & Fax (905) 272 9389