“International Day For Human Rights”
Open Dialogue and White Roses
On the occasion of the International Day for Human Rights, and under the title “Human Rights Defenders Acting to End Discrimination,” as was announced by the High Commissioner For Human Rights, Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture organized two events focussing on human rights issues and including panel discussions with nonstate actors and stakeholders.
As discrimination overwhelms fundemental aspects in Lebanon, and as efforts to end the unfair treatment and inequality continues, KRC organized an “Open Dialogue” held on December 2, 2010 entitled, “ Lebanon After the Universal Periodic Review”.
Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Security Forces, and many other local and international NGOS attended the event and discussed the status of human rights in Lebanon.
The participants held a discussion on Lebanon’s Report to the Universal Periodic Review which was submitted in November 2010, and emphasized on the important role of the local and the international NGOs, as well as the government’s effect in prevailing human rights.
At the end of the dialogue, recommendations were issued:
• Activate the role of the civil society associations through the holding monthly coordinating meetings.
• Prepare a Shadow Report before holding the sixth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2011.
• Prepare a comprehensive document on the report and conduct a dialogue with the government.
• Urge the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons against Enforced Disappearance.
• Launch a wide campaign against sectarianism and discrimination.
• Urge the government to issue a united law of personal status.
• Give the woman who is married to a foreigner the right of nationality.
• Consider the 10th of December an International Day for Human Rights, and take an advantage of this day to launch movements against discrimination, torture, sectarianism, and arbitrary enforced disappearance.
• Solidarity with the hunger strikers in Lebanese prisons.
• Modify labor laws, especially with regard the employees of the public sector.
• Amendment of Article 8 of the Procedural Law.
• Reject using the human rights draft for political purposes.
• Emphasize on the formation of the national preventive mechanism to monitor prisons.
The second event was held on December 10, 2010. A sit-in in front of Riad el Solh Square in front of the parliament building, where mothers of disappeared, human rights activists, and KRC staff stood to call for equal rights to all. The participants held signs and posters that call for stopping discrimination and sectarianism. On behalf of the families, Ms Mary Ghawi spoke about the sufferings they confront day by day, while the absence of the clear conciences prevails, and the silence overwhelms their minds. Yet, she presented the white rose to all those, hoping that one day, a wake up rise to break the silence of those who continue ignoring and violating human rights conventions. She also presented the white roses as a gift of appreciation to all those who have clear conciences and those who value human rights.
KRC has published a statement on this day entitled “No for Discrimination”. The statement expressed the Lebanese common suffering and the miserable facts that overwhelms Lebanon in all levels, whether educational, legal, and medical. Other than the refugees’ who undergo critical and miserable situations. In addition, the statement emphasized on urging everyone to put an end for the marginalization and oppression against the refugees, as well as the prisoners and the victims of enforced disappearance.
The statement considered the secterianism another face of torture and a crime against human rights. Therefore, KRC invites all human rights organizations and international asociations to stand still against all forms of discrimination.
Khiam Rehabilitation Center
for Victims of Torture
17, December, 2010