Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Trapped in prison

Arab News reports on the case of a Saudi national trapped in a Lebanese jail because there is no president to sign his release papers.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission, the prisoner is one of 16 Saudis held for their involvement in battles in Nahr Al-Bared.

A HRC team recently concluded their second visit to Lebanon and Syria to check up on the conditions of the prisoners.

Spokesperson Dr. Zuhair Al-Harthi said the prisoners were offered poor services in Lebanese jails. He also mentioned that they were not receiving proper medical treatment.

Lost souls

Mary Ellen Davis of the Tadamon solidarity group in Canada presents a photo essay, Impressions from Nahr el-Bared: Displaced Refugees.

Mary writes, "Within the outskirts of Nahr el-Bared, where many Lebanese citizens reside as well, families return to live amongst the debris. After six months of forced displacement, inhabitants of Nahr el-Bared are paradoxically relieved to return to the camp desperately in need of repair and reconstruction. Nevertheless, of these inhabitants, wandering about in the ruins, one gets the impression of lost souls."

Sunday, 13 January 2008

No compromise

The Arab League failed in its latest plan to end the impass over the next president. According to

The head of the Arab League has failed to secure a deal to end the political deadlock in Lebanon after a four-day visit to the country.

Amr Moussa has said he will make another attempt to end the impasse between the government and opposition but in the meantime the parliament once again postponed a vote to elect a new president.

The initiative from the Arab League is based on a three-point plan calling for the election of General Michel Suleiman, the current army chief, as president, a national unity government in which no one party has veto power and adopting a new electoral law.

Although the ruling coalition has given the Arab plan its full support, Hezbollah is insisting that the opposition have a third of the seats in a new 30-member government in order to have veto power.

Hassan Fadlallah, a Hezbollah MP said the US, which along with Saudi Arabia backs the government of Fouad Siniora, the prime minister, was raising "a veto each time we come near a deal."