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Presidency of the Republic of Lebanon

01/13/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/13/2022 06:35

The President the families of arrested persons in the Beirut Port blast case.

The families of arrested individuals conveyed to President Aoun their suffering due to the continued unjust detention of their family members.

President Aoun emphasized that he stands by the families of detainees and the martyrs of the blast, and indicated that he is doing everything in his power to achieve the right and end the injustice of the innocent.

President Aoun: "The situation is difficult. The judiciary and Cabinet have been suspended, and this has serious repercussions. We are working to address this situation since we are aware of the extent of its negative effects".

Minister Bou Habib briefed the President on his talks at the US, and stated that the US administration understands the issue of displaced Syrians.

Minister Bou Habib: "The Americans told the Egyptians to exempt Lebanon from the sanctions of importing energy. Hochstein will come in the coming days to move the file of demarcation of maritime borders".

The President informed Najat Rushdi of Lebanon's support for UN efforts to prepare and implement programs to secure humanitarian needs.

Rushdi asserted that there are no conditions for humanitarian work and no political influence on the work of international organizations.

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, stressed that he feels the sufferings of the families of the detainees and martyrs of the Beirut Port blast. The President indicated that he is doing everything in his power, in accordance with laws and authorities in order to achieve rights and lift the injustice against the innocent.

"The situation is difficult, the judiciary and Cabinet have been suspended. This has serious repercussions on the country. We are working to address this situation because we are aware of the extent of its negative repercussions" President Aoun indicated, considering that it is not permissible for an employee to be suspended and held responsible after he has fulfilled his duties, and informed his superior.

Moreover, the President asserted that he will follow-up on this issue "So that the truth is clear, and responsibilities are determined without scrutiny, politicization, obstruction or reliance on the premise that every delayed justice is an objectionable or obstructive justice".

The President's positions came while meeting a delegation of the families of those arrested in the Beirut Port blast case.

Mrs Elise Seif Fares made the following speech:

"Mr. President, we come to you today bearing our pains and aches. The pains of our loved ones and the aches of injustice, whose fangs are tight on us, and we are exhausted. We are the families of those unjustly detained since August 4, 2020. We stand today in front of your palace, we raise our voices high. We know that who owns a right owns the power, and you know that it is time to lift the injustice from our people. We came to you today, because you are the captain of this ship which is sunk in darkness.

Our people who have been unjustly arrested have worked for years in the service of their state, and assumed their responsibilities to the fullest, realizing the dangers and quickly raising their voices and warning, but they were let down and today they are sacrificed to real criminals who are still enjoying their full freedom near their children, while our brothers and husbands have been deprived of seeing their children a year and four months ago.

Your Excellency, our brothers are neither murderers nor neglectful, so we ask you to stand by us to achieve full justice by releasing them quickly and unconditionally, hence achieving justice.

Mr. President, the souls of our brothers and husbands are a trust we place before you, so do not let us down and be of assistance to us by removing injustice from us and returning life to our families".

President Aoun:

The President welcomed the attendees, and considered that the delegation members' suffering is real and their demands are justified. The President indicated that he feels with them and stands by them in light of the difficult circumstances they live in.

"I am following the stages of investigation from the first day till the end. There is no need to mention this matter daily, but the current situation has made things more and more difficult, as the judiciary and the Cabinet are suspended. This has serious repercussions on the country, and we are working to address this situation since we are aware of the extent of its negative effects" President Aoun stated.

"I feel with you and the detainees, as I feel with the families of the fallen martyrs. I do everything in my power, according to the powers and laws, in order to achieve the right and lift the injustice of the innocent. This is because injustice is very cruel. I tasted injustice when I was expelled for 15 years and remained imprisoned without being able to leave my house except with the escort of the police. House arrest is painful so how much more painful if the detainee is imprisoned in a very small geographic area?" President Aoun added.

"You have the right to see the reasons which led to the arrest of your family, because I, like you, do not know the reasons, but I know some of you and some members of your families. I ask before you and in front of the public opinion: Will the arrest continue after one year and six months have passed if the employee has done what he is required to do and informed his direct manager about the data he has?" President Aoun continued.

"Then, the manager has to work on the implementation because the employee has no ability to do so. All he can do is inform his boss and his role ends" the President said.

President Aoun then concluded indicating that he will "Follow-up on the issue so that the truth is known and responsibilities are determined without scrutiny, politicization, obstructing or exploitation on the grounds that every delayed justice is a justice that is objectionable or obstructed".

Foreign Affairs Minister:

The President Aoun met Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Abdullah Bou Habib, who briefed him on the results of his visit to the United States of America, and the meetings he held with a number of officials in the American National Security Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Bou Habib indicated that, during the talks that he held, he felt clear US support for the expected role of the International Monetary Fund in helping Lebanon to overcome its difficult economic conditions, by accelerating the recovery plan set by the Lebanese government, as well as the necessity to accomplish the necessary reforms that Lebanon needs, in addition to the encouraging by US officials to hold the parliamentary elections on time.

Minister Bou Habib also pointed out that US officials reiterated their support for bringing gas and electricity to Lebanon from Egypt and Jordan through Syria to enhance the production of electric power, and excluding Lebanon from the restrictions set by "Caesar's Law", and that this matter was reported to Egyptian officials.

In addition, Minister Bou Habib stated that US officials encourage the process of demarcating the southern maritime borders, and that the US envoy in charge of this task, Amos Hochstein, will come to Lebanon within the next few days to resume his efforts with the aim of moving this file.

The Foreign Minister indicated that the discussion with US officials dealt with the issue of US aid to the Lebanese Army in accordance with the support plan established for this purpose between the Lebanese and American leaderships.

In conclusion, Minister Bou Habib revealed that the research also touched on Lebanon's relations with the Gulf States, the situation in Syria and the issue of the displaced Syrians.

Najat Rushdi:

President Aoun received the Deputy Special Coordinator of the United Nations Secretary-General in Lebanon and the Resident Coordinator of United Nations Activities and Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Najat Rushdi.

The President informed Rushdi that "Lebanon supports the efforts made in preparing and implementing programs to secure the humanitarian needs of the Lebanese, especially in the fields of education, water, electricity and medicine".

President Aoun also stressed that these efforts are accompanied by the Lebanese state, which is working on alleviating the suffering of Lebanese families, especially after the growing need for basic and necessary services.The President also asserted that the emergency plan launched by Dr. Rushdi for a period of three months to provide fuel to maintain health care and water and sanitation services had positive effects, welcoming the decision taken to extend the work of this plan until next March.

For her part, Dr. Rushdi presented a report on the work carried out by United Nations organizations to confront the urgent humanitarian situation in Lebanon, pointing out that the United Nations will continue to provide this support, knowing that the Lebanese state must also fulfil responsibilities in this regard.

In addition, Dr. Rushdi stressed that there are no conditions from the United Nations for humanitarian aid, and there is no political influence on the work of international organizations in this field. Then, Rushdi expressed her gratitude for the support provided by President Aoun to the projects carried out by United Nations organizations in Lebanon that deal in particular with the humanitarian, health and social issue, especially those for which financial budgets have been allocated from donor countries, including the allocation of $6 million to fund a project for NGOs related to child protection, combating violence against women and education services for about 29,000 Lebanese, displaced and immigrants.

MP Maalouf:

The President met MP Eddy Maalouf and discussed with him general affairs, recent political developments and security conditions, as well as the needs of the Metn region.

MP Maalouf pointed out that he addressed the situation of the landfill in Jdeideh, and the need to find a quick solution to it.​