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Urgent Interventions

Threat of judicial harassment faced by Mr. Wadih al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights and of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH)


LBN 001 / 0818 / OBS 104

Threat of judicial harassment /

Restrictions to freedom of expression


August 21, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human RightsDefenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Lebanon.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliablesources about the threat of judicial harassment faced by Mr. Wadih al-Asmar,President of EuroMed Rights and of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH)[1].

According to the information received, Mr.Wadih al-Asmar received, on August 16, 2018, a WhatsApp call from theCybercrime Bureau, requesting him for questionning regarding posts published onhis Facebook and Twitter accounts. No further details were given on thespecific content of the posts to Mr. Wadih al-Asmar. The Cybercrime Bureausummoned him to interrogation on August 31, 2018.

In recent weeks, summons by the authoritiesfor writings criticizing politicians or mocking religious symbols on socialmedias have multiplied. On July 24, 2018, hundreds of citizens gathered onSamir Kassir Square to peacefully protest against repression and decline offreedom of expression in Lebanon.

In such context, the Observatory fears thatMr. Wadih al-Asmar may have been summoned in relation to his human rightsactivities, and calls the Lebanese authorities to refrain from any chargesagainst him as well as against all human rights defenders, should they aim atsanctionning the legitimate exercice of freedom of opinion and expression.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Lebanon,urging them to:

i. Put an end to any act of harassment,including at the judicial level, against Mr. Wadih al-Asmar, and more generallyagainst all human rights defenders in Lebanon;

ii. Guaranteein all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Wadihal-Asmar, and respect his right to a fair trial ;

iii. Conformwith the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted bythe General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially itsarticles 1, 6 (b) and (c), and 12; as well as of the International Convenant onCivil and Political Rights (ICCPR), especially its article 19;

iv. Moregenerally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights andfundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standardsand international instruments ratified by Lebanon.


·Mr. Saad Hariri, Prime Minister, GrandSerail, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: + 961 (0)1-983060

·Mr. Salim Jreissati, Minister ofJustice, Ministry of Justice, Adlieh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-612564

·Mr. Nouhad Machnouk, Minister ofInterior, Ministry of Interior, Sanayeh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-751622

·Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UnitedNations in Geneva, rue de Moillebeau 58, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland., Fax : +41 22 791 85 80

.Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UnitedNations in New York, 866 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. E-mail, Telephone: +1 (212) 355-5460
Fax: +1 (212) 838-2819.

·Embassy of Lebanon in Brussels, rue G.Stocq, 2 1050 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail:, Fax: +322.645.77.69

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Lebanon in yourrespective country as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies inLebanon.


Paris-Geneva, August 21, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting thecode of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human RightsDefenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is tointervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanismimplemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 1880

· Teland fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] CLDH was created in 2006 by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Supportfor Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily). It monitors the human rights situation inLebanon, fights enforced disappearance, impunity, arbitrary detention andracism, and rehabilitates the victims of torture. @font-face { font-family: Arial;}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }h1 { margin: 24pt 0cm 0.0001pt 21.6pt; text-indent: -21.6pt; page-break-after: avoid; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; font-weight: normal; }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoFooter, li.MsoFooter, div.MsoFooter { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p.MsoBodyText, li.MsoBodyText, div.MsoBodyText { margin: 0cm 0cm 6pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: purple; text-decoration: underline; }span.Titre1Car { }span.Caractresdenotedebasdepage { vertical-align: super; }span.ww-lieninternet { }span.Marquenotebasdepage2 { vertical-align: super; }span.CorpsdetexteCar { }span.PieddepageCar { }span.En-tteCar { }span.NotedebasdepageCar { }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }

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