the national commission for the victims of enforced disappearance

Ever since we launched our campaign we have been calling for the establishment of an official mechanism to look into the thousands of cases of enforced disappearance in Lebanon. Regretfully, the Lebanese governments never established such a mechanism and the real number of the missing is still unknown and subject to speculation and political exploitation. In 2005 when SOLIDE started its open-ended sit-in in front of the U.N. House in downtown Beirut it called on the international community to form such a mechanism based on the failure of the Lebanese authorities to live up to its responsibilities. Since 2005, the consecutive Lebanese governments promised in their ministerial statements to establish the national commission for the victims of enforced disappearance. SOLIDE in cooperation with the Committee of the Families of the Missing and Kidnapped and the Lebanese Center for Human Rights presented in 2009 a memo to the Minister of Justice, Ibrahim Najjar, asking for the establishment of the commission. The government resigned and Shakib Qortbawi became the new Minister of Justice. He followed up on the memo and after many revisions presented it as a draft decree to the government. The council of ministers formed a small committee of 4 ministers to revise it and take into consideration the different remarks on it. Once again, the government resigned and the matter is still pending. Most recently we met with the new Minister of Justice, General Ashraf Rifi, and asked of him to follow up on the issue.