In the UPR session The Lebanese File between Economic Crises and Human Rights accusations
The National Society for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms followed the events of the 37th session of the Universal Periodic Review at the International Council for Human Rights in Geneva on January 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm Geneva time
The session began with a speech by Ambassador Salim Baddora, the permanent representative of the Lebanese state, in which he started to talk about the Lebanese human rights situation during the previous four years and the economic crises that the Lebanese state has gone through and has been completely paralyzed within the institutions of the constitutional state, where two governments fell in a short period not exceeding 10 months, and The disaster of the Beirut port explosion, which caused the state much material and human losses, in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, which deepened all the problems and crises. In light of these new and old challenges as well, such as the Zionist state’s occupation of parts of southern Lebanon, violating Lebanon’s sovereignty over its territories, and the constant threat of terrorism and wars in the neighboring states, as well as the Syrian displacement and Palestinian asylum, and affirmed Lebanon’s continuous endeavor to work to promote human rights, through operations to combat corruption and meet the aspirations of the Lebanese people, the House of Representatives works in the legislative framework on a package of laws, including the right to access information and combating corruption, as well as some economic decisions, in order for Lebanon to emerge from the current economic crisis. The judiciary and the police forces, with respect to human rights mechanisms and their keenness to implement their mechanisms, by making a balance between protecting freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate.
With all the clarifications made by the representative of Lebanon before the International Council for Human Rights, the National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms monitored requests from 45 countries to talk about the Lebanese file and give their recommendations in order to improve the human rights situation. Among the most important of these recommendations were:
The country of Argentina made a recommendation regarding cases of enforced disappearance, and the state of Australia made two recommendations regarding cases of torture, and the countries of the Czech Republic, Denmark and Ireland participated in this recommendation, and arrests without any legal basis, and the countries of Belarus and Cambodia submitted their recommendations on human trafficking, and Brazil made two recommendations regarding child marriage and refugee rights. As for Bulgaria, it made a recommendation for Lebanon to join the CEDAW group, and Germany shared this recommendation too, and Burkina Faso made two recommendations regarding domestic violence, and which was shared with Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Fiji, Georgia, the Vatican, Honduras, Iceland and Italy in its recommendation to abolish the death penalty.
Among the most prominent events that occurred during the session was the Zionist state’s exploitation of this session, as it began to aggressively attack the Lebanese state and described Hezbollah as a terrorist group, and that it was the mastermind of the Beirut incident. Ambassador Salim Baddora responded in a course to these accusations, describing the Hezbollah group as A Lebanese national entity that represents a large and wide segment of the Lebanese people, and an active front in the Arab resistance against Israel, and Israel has no right to describe a group as a terrorist, and it is not concerned with investigating an internal Lebanese incident, adding that Israel had previously destroyed the basic and fundamental infrastructure of the Lebanese state, and it intervened violently inside Lebanon, during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, and Israel has no right to speak about human rights as it occupied an Arab land and treated it’s people diabolically and violates all forms and types of human rights.
The National Association for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms calls on the Lebanese government to further reforms on the level of human rights files, especially the issue of combating corruption and investigating cases of the marriage of minors. It also calls for the development of mechanisms to eliminate domestic violence directed at women and children and the development of better methods of confidentiality and speed of reporting and providing protection for the crisis to the victims.