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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the cases of Mr. Gibran Tueni and Mr. Walid Eido, members of the National Assembly of Lebanon as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/182/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolutions LEB/01 and LEB/02 adopted at its 181st session (October 2007),

Having before it the cases of Mr. Antoine Ghanem and Mr. Pierre Gemayel, members of the National Assembly of Lebanon, which have been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians following the Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which contains a detailed outline of the case (CL/182/12(b)-R.1-Add.),

Considering the following:

  • Tueni, Mr. Eido, Mr. Ghanem and Mr. Gemayel, were all outspoken critics of the Syrian Arab Republic and its allies in Lebanon and all, between 2005 and 2007, were killed in car-bomb attacks except for Mr. Gemayel, who was gunned down;

  • After Mr. Tueni's assassination, the National Assembly associated itself with the court action taken by the public prosecutor,
Recalling that, in its resolution 1644 (2005), the United Nations Security Council authorized the International Independent Investigation Commission entrusted with investigating former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri's murder to devote part of its capacity to the task of giving technical assistance to the Lebanese authorities with regard to several cases of attempted assassination, assassination and bombing carried out in Lebanon since 1 October 2004, including the murders of the four members of the National Assembly

Noting that, in its ninth report of 28 November 2007, the Commission stated that investigations had confirmed its hypothesis of operational links between some of the possible perpetrators of these various crimes, that it had identified additional persons of interest to the investigation, and that it had held regular meetings with each of the investigating judges in Lebanon in charge of the cases and the Prosecutor General to discuss investigative leads, evaluate the status of each investigation and identify areas where it could provide additional technical assistance; the Commission's tenth report was issued on 27 March 2008 and presents a continuation of the line of inquiry followed in the previous reports; it is scheduled to be discussed by the United Nations Security Council in April 2008,

Considering that the International Independent Investigation Commission, whose mandate will end in June 2008, has started preparing for the transition to the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which would have concurrent jurisdiction with the national courts, and would try those alleged to be responsible for Mr. Hariri's assassination and for any other attacks since October 2004 which are “connected in accordance with the principles of criminal justice and are of a nature and gravity similar to the attack of 14 February 2005”; on 13 November 2007, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed a new Commissioner to head the Commission and subsequently act as the Prosecutor of the Tribunal,

Recalling that a political deadlock in Lebanon has, however, since prevented the National Assembly from sitting and from taking any decision to ratify the agreement signed between the United Nations and, on behalf of the Lebanese authorities, the Director-General of the Ministry of Justice, with regard to the establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; considering that the convening of the National Assembly was postponed, for the seventeenth time, to 22 April 2008,

Bearing in mind that Lebanon is a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is thus bound to guarantee the right to life,

  1. Expresses deep concern that four highly vocal parliamentarians have been murdered in the last two years, which, considered together with the string of assassinations of other high-profile personalities, confirms that at this important juncture in Lebanon the exercise of freedom of expression is at great risk and that this constitutes a serious deterrent for others who might wish to speak out on critical issues;

  2. Is convinced that, thanks to its expertise and resources available and the full assistance of the Lebanese investigating authorities, the International Independent Investigation Commission has paved the way for subsequent effective action by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to identify and hold to account the alleged culprits;

  3. Considers that, as the Commission's work is coming to an end, the establishment of the Special Tribunal has become particularly urgent in order to keep up the momentum in the investigations and to ensure that important material gathered by the Commission can be acted on immediately;

  4. Believes that the National Assembly holds the key to the rapid establishment of the Special Tribunal; calls on the Assembly and the parliamentary authorities to make every effort to help resolve the present political crisis in order to allow the Special Tribunal to make its vital contribution to dispensing justice in this case; wishes to ascertain what steps are being taken in this regard;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lebanon;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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