Day of the Disappeared marked in Lebanon


The International Day of the Disappeared was marked with several events around Beirut Wednesday with the aim of drawing attention to those who were forcibly disappeared in both past conflicts in Lebanon, and the current war in Syria.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held joint events at both Beirut Souks and in Ain al-Mreisseh to raise awareness of the many Lebanese who have disappeared since the start of the Civil War in 1975, right up to the present day. More than 40 years after the outbreak of hostilities, many Lebanese still do not know what happened to missing family members.

ICRC called upon Lebanese authorities to help uncover the fate of the missing. ICRC’s Lebanon spokesperson, Soraya Dali-Balta, told The Daily Star, “We have a constructive dialogue with the authorities about missing persons. Whenever we have bilateral meetings with the President [Michel Aoun] or with the Prime Minister [Saad Hariri] we try to push for passing a law on the missing. This hasn’t been done yet."

Wednesday’s events followed a two day weekend retreat organized by the ICRC, specifically for the families of missing persons, to help them develop the skills to raise awareness for their cause.

Later Wednesday evening, Amnesty International opened “10’s of 1,000’s: An Exhibition on Syria’s Missing and Disappeared,” at Station Beirut in Jisr al-Wati. The exhibition aims to shed light on the lives of some of the individuals who have been arbitrarily detained within Syria.

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Daily Star