mardi 16 septembre 2008

Hundreds of World Citizens Urge Lebanese Authorities to Release Youssef Chaabane

Human Rights activists and citizens worldwide are mobilizing for the release of Youssef Chaabane.

From Lebanon, France, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil and the United States, they were hundreds to sign a petition addressed to the Lebanese authorities demanding the release of Mr. Youssef Chaabane who has been in arbitrary detention in Lebanon since 1994.

International mobilization is ongoing for the release of this individual whose detention was declared arbitrary by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and who has been forgotten in Lebanese prisons for 15 years.

After his arrest on February 5, 1994, Mr. Chaabane was forced to sign confessions under torture by the Syrian Intelligence Services, then by the Lebanese Criminal Investigation Police, in the assassination of a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon.

Although Youssef Chaabane has not ceased to maintain his innocence in this case, the Lebanese Justice Council sentenced him to a life sentence on October 19, 1994.

In 2000, two individuals were arrested in Jordan in the same case. They were found guilty, sentenced to death and executed for the Jordanian diplomat’s murder. During the Jordanian trial, the two accused individuals did not incriminate Youssef Chaabane and, in fact, stated that he was not involved, which is corroborated by several key pieces of evidence in the case.

A request for a presidential pardon has been submitted.

September 16, 2008