Court Sentences 47 Lebanese for Entering Israel, Collaboration
The Beirut military court has sentenced 47 Lebanese to jail for entering the "enemy state" of Israel and for collaboration with that country, judicial sources said Tuesday.
The court at a session late Monday sentenced 21 people to jail terms between three weeks and two months for entering enemy territory without permission when they lived in once Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon, they said.
One person was also sentenced in absentia to two years on the same charges and another was found not guilty, they said.
The 24 other suspects were given prison terms ranging from one to three years for collaboration with Israel and enrolment in the now-disbanded Israeli-allied South Lebanon Army militia (SLA), they said.
In total, 1,814 sentences have been handed down since the June 5 start of the trial of some 2,200 Lebanese accused of collaborating with Israel before its May 24 withdrawal from Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
Among them, 11 people have been sentenced to death in absentia and three others also still at large have received life sentences.
Charges have included collaboration with Israel, entering Israel or enrolment in the SLA militia.
Protests had erupted after the death in prison of three former SLA members, with rights groups claiming that at least one was subjected to torture and lack of medical treatment.
The Lebanese Shiite movement Hizbollah, which spearheaded the anti-Israeli resistance, has frequently criticized the lightness of the sentences.
In contrast, several opposition leaders have called for an amnesty for the population of the former occupied zone, saying they were forced to deal with Israel after being abandoned by the Lebanese state.
Amnesty International criticized the trials of SLA members back in June calling them a parody of justice which "can in no way help national reconciliation" in Lebanon -- BEIRUT (AFP)
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