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NOVEMBER 16, 2004

Those who oppress the Lebanese people should pay a heavy price for these actions

16/11/04 -


Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia of the U.S. House of Representatives, is gravely concerned about the threats recently issued by Lebanese Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh, where he stated that he will not allow the members of the Free Patriotic Movement "to demonstrate even if they ask for a permit," adding that he would use all methods at his disposal "to oppress them."

In response, Ros-Lehtinen made the following statement: "These actions by the Lebanese government mirror the repressive tactics of the Syrian regime are serve to illustrate how the Syrian puppeteer controls its puppets in the Lebanese government." "The United States Congress and the world are watching. Any action to suppress Friday's planned peaceful demonstration would be in direct contravention of international human rights standards."

"Further, it would be viewed as yet one more example of complicity by certain Lebanese officials in Syria's infringement of Lebanese sovereignty, including through continued occupation. As such, such actions would be in violation of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, as well as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559."

"We must join forces in support of the Lebanese people's inalienable rights to freedom of speech and expression. Whether Syrians or their puppets in Lebanon, those who oppress the Lebanese people should pay a heavy price for these actions."

(Picture of Ros-Lehtinen)