Lebanon Receives Lists of Prisoners Sentenced for non-Political Crimes in Syria
Lebanese Prosecutor Adnan Addoum received Thursday a list from Syrian authorities with the names of Lebanese serving sentences for non-political crimes in Syria.
Addum told AFP he will announce the names later Thursday, but did not wish to confirm the exact number of the prisoners.
He also said two Lebanese who have completed their prison terms in Syria for common law crimes were repatriated Thursday.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Addum said the list of Lebanese still jailed in Syria contained at least 80 to 85 Lebanese serving sentences for common crimes.
The pro-Syrian As-Safir newspaper said Thursday they were 95.
Late Monday, 46 Lebanese and eight Palestinians holding Lebanese travel documents were repatriated from Syria where they had been detained for years for political reasons.
Addum then said there were no more Lebanese political prisoners in Syria, but the relatives' associations say hundreds of Lebanese are still being held.
The relatives and human rights groups have called for a commission of inquiry into the fate of their missing relatives.
Beirut authorities claim that all those missing had probably been liquidated by various militias during the country's 1975-1990 civil war.
Information Minister Ghazi Aridi gave a warning after a cabinet meeting Wednesday "against political manipulation of the matter to exploit people's feelings.
"It is not in the interest of the national understanding to reopen cases from the past," he said.
Most of the Lebanese political prisoners in Syria are Christian militants or fundamentalist Muslims who oppose Syria's dominance over Lebanon.
The liberation of the Lebanese prisoners is a major demand of the Maronite Church, along with the re-establishment of ties between Beirut and Damascus, which stations about 35,000 troops in Lebanon where it is the major powerbroker -- BEIRUT (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)