Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Free Zeid Hamdan NOW!!!

I don't recognize Lebanonesia anymore. After the detention earlier this week of human rights activist Saad al-Deen Shatila by Lebanese military intelligence, today, the news was out that singer Zeid Hamdan detained at Adlieh over his one year old song "General Soleiman" (published on YouTube 11 months ago 65,355 views at time of writing). Investigation by General Security had started 3 weeks ago. Today, it was his third interrogation session, and he was detained. On Facebook, this message presumably from him was circulating: "Dear friends, I am now in the prison of the police station of the palace of justice in Beirut because of my song "General Soleiman". They are prosecuting me for defammation of President Soleiman. I dont know, until when I am staying in prison. Please mobilize!"

I'm starting to think that we're better off without a government and without decision making capabilities in Lebanonesia.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lebanese military intelligence detains human rights activist this morning

Lebanese military intelligence detained this morning human rights activist Saad al-Deen Shatila. They referred him to military police in Beirut where he is being interrogated. It seems he was charged for defaming the army and was transferred to the military police following his reporting on torture by Lebanese military, including this one Lebanon: four individuals at risk of death penalty following confessions extracted under torture (Al-Karama for Human Rights, 30 May 2011).

The Rights of Palestinian Refugees Under International Law: Durable Solutions and Future Prospect (video)

A lecture in English by professor Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law, given on 16 July 2011, at Amel Association's Amel House of Human Rights, as part of the 2-week Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict held in Beirut.

اختتـام «المدرسـة الصيفيـة حول القانون والنزاعات المسلحة»

جريدة السفير - السبت 23 تموز 2011
اختتمت مؤسسة «عامل» أمس «المدرسة الصيفية حول القانون والنزاعات المسلحة»، في حفل أقامته في بيت «عامل» لحقوق الإنسان، الكائن في مبنى المؤسسة في المصيطبة، حيث تم توزيع الشهادات على المشاركين. وأشرف على الدورة كل من الدكتور كريم المفتي، ووسام صليبي، وزهرة البرازي.
وكانت المدرسة قد انطلقت في الثامن

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lecture video: The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law and in Arab States

A lecture in English by professor Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law, given on 16 July 2011, at Amel Association's Amel House of Human Rights, as part of the 2-week Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict held in Beirut.

The lengths of all 4 parts is approximately 3 hour and 20 minutes. The lecture title was: The Status of Palestinian Refugees in International Law and in Arab States: Statelessness, Protection and the Obligation of Host States.

The talk addressed among other issues the following: UN Agencies in charge of Palestinian Refugees, Assistance and protection mandates, Definition of a Palestinian Refugee, Stateless Palestinians, and Palestinian Refugees in Arab Host States.

Professor Akram also gave a talk on the Rights of Palestinian Refugees in International Law (to be uploaded and posted on this blog soon).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some of the contributors to the Amel Association Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict

Principles and Mechanisms of Refugees Law, Dr. Dominique Tohme, UNHCR Beirut Office
  مبادئ وآليّات قانون اللاجئين د. دومينيك طعمة  المكتب الإقليمي للمفوضيّة العليا للأمم المتحدة لشؤون اللاجئين في بيروت
قانون اللجوء  جمعيّة روّاد فرونتيرز
Refugee Law  Ruwad Frontiers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Col. Klappe talks humanitarian law and real world military decision making

In today's sessions in the Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict at the Amel House of Human Rights (Amel Association), Col. Klappe gave a lecture on IHL and Terrorism, understanding the military necessity from a military perspective, and IHL and peacekeeping operations. Col. Klappe is currently a military judge in the Netherlands and a visiting senior lecturer at the Netherlands Defence Academy. He served previously as special assistant to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Military Advisor. One of his most interesting contributions to our Summer School was on how to apply humanitarian law on the field, when faced with real world military decision making.

The following is one of the exercises he gave (click to enlarge)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Third day of the summer school: Military necessity and case studies on IHL

Amnesty International asked their consultant, Mervat Rishmawi, who is developing a training manual on International Humanitarian Law, to give a training for the summer school participants. It was another great opportunity for the Summer School to bridge between the IHL dissemination efforts in the Arab World.

More on IHL in Arabic from Amnesty:

Dr. Ali Awwad, former Lebanese Armed Forces officer, gave the morning lecture on military necessity and IHL.

Full summers school program in Arabic and English:


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is why we need humanitarian law dissemination in Lebanon: Armed guys on my Facebook

So I opened my Facebook a few days ago, and this photo appeared, with dozens of comments of "encouragement" under it. It's wedding season in Lebanon, so I was expecting something different, something more happy.

This guy belongs to one of the non-State armed groups in Lebanon. He doesn't know how to set his
privacy settings (or doesn't care about that). So it's showing to friends of his friends (me included). I removed his face on this photo but it's clear on the original one.

I understand the need for a Kalashnikov, and a gun in Lebanon, but what is the machete for? It somewhat reminds me of Rwanda...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ICRC and OHCHR contribute to the summer school on law and armed conflict at Amel Association

Today, the 2nd day of the Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict,
Cherif Atlam, regional coordinator for the ICRC advisory service, gave a
lecture on methods and means of warfare, and protected categories in
International Humanitarian Law.
Lana Baydas, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
gave a talk on the International Law on Peacekeeping, followed by group

Monday, July 11, 2011

Humanitarian law, basics and interplay with human rights, on the first day of the Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict

After 7 months of preparation, the Summer School on Law and Armed Conflict kicked off today with an introduction to humanitarian law, and a lecture on the interplay between humanitarian law and human rights. I had researched and written the project proposal and submitted it to the Open Society Institute around a year ago, inspired by the curriculum of my Master's Degree program in Aix-en-Provence in France.

Dr. Kamel Mohanna, Amel Association head, opened the course with a speech emphasizing the importance of getting the law right, in a region where politicians and media misinterpret the laws of armed conflict out of ignorance or intentionally. It was also an opportunity to inaugurate the Amel House of Human Rights training hall, situated on the first floor of the Amel Association building in Mosaytbeh, Beirut.

Summer School poster here.

Summer School full program in English and in Arabic here.

The Arabic press release and photos from the first day:

مؤسسة عامل تطلق "المدرسة الصيفية حول القانون والنزاعات المسلحة 2011"

تنطلق "المدرسة الصيفية حول القانون والنزاعات المسلحة" التي