Beirut, Lebanon 28/05/2021
CLDH Reports on Lebanese Forces and Syrian Nationalist Social Parties
"Stirring up racial slurs, infighting and sedition"
The Lebanese Center for Human Rights submitted two reports to the Public Prosecutor's Office on 26 March 2021 against the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, on the basis of incitement to racial slurs, incitement to fighting and sedition, and against the Syrian Nationalist Social Party in Lebanon on the basis of incitement to racial slurs, incitement to fighting, sedition and murder.
Gaegea Incites Sedition
After the Syrian authorities set Thursday 20/5/2021 as the date for the presidential elections for Syrians residing in Lebanon, Syrian voters were attacked by beating, cutting off roads and preventing them from exercising their democratic right. It was revealed that these acts occurred at the instigation of head of the Lebanese Forces party Samir Geagea, who had declared that "tens of thousands of Syrian displaced persons in Lebanon are preparing to participate in the elections tomorrow in the tragedy of the so-called Syrian presidential election at the headquarters of the Syrian Embassy in Hazmieh…"
Gaegae had also requested from President Michel Aoun and the caretaker Prime Minister to give the necessary instructions to the Ministries of the Interior and Defense and the relevant departments in order to obtain the names of those who would be voting for Assad the following day, and to ask them to leave Lebanon immediately and join the areas controlled by the Assad regime in Syria as long as they would vote for the regime and would not pose a danger to them. "
The Syrian Nationalist Social Party Incites Sedition and Murder
In 23/05/2021, The Syrian Nationalist Social Party held a held a central festival in the Hamra region on the occasion of the anniversary of liberation day.
Supporters chanted against the Lebanese Forces Party, its symbols, and its president sowing the seeds of sedition and murder. Local media outlets showed that supporters were chanting against the President of the Lebanese Forces Party and explicitly calling for his murder while praising the assassination of the former President of the Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel.
The Two Declarations are Illegal
In regards to the two events, CLDH considers that the concept of incitement applies in both declarations in accordance with the law. The statement by Lebanese Forces Party President Samir Geagea resulted in the beating Syrian voters, while that of the Syrian Nationalist Social Party could promote the idea of assassinating Gaegae or any members of the Lebanese Forces party to impulsive supporters.
In order to maintain civil peace and prevent incitement to sedition, and in compliance to article 317 which states that: Any act, writing or speech intended or intended to provoke religious or racial slurs or to incite conflict between communities and the various elements of the nation shall be punishable by imprisonment for one to three years and a fine of one hundred thousand to eight thousand lira, as well as by the prohibition of the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraphs 2 and 4 of article 65… and based on other international laws that protect freedom of expression, CLDH submitted the two reports against both parties.
CLDH will also follow up closely to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable as deemed appropriate by the Public Prosecutor's Office.