International

Double standards watch

From Friday’s Washington Post:

A prominent Lebanese human rights lawyer and activist, among the few who have dared to defend Lebanese citizens imprisoned in Syria, was arrested last week in Beirut on the charge of “impersonating a lawyer.”

Muhammad Mugraby, 64, who has degrees from the Lebanese University School of Law and Columbia University Law School, has documented the disappearance and detention of Lebanese citizens in Syria in a report for Human Rights Watch titled “An Alliance Beyond the Law.” Syria is Lebanon’s power broker and wields tremendous influence on its political class and security forces. Lebanese citizens have disappeared — some apparently seized from their homes — and detained by Syrians or Lebanese authorities under Syrian pressure, because of their opposition to the Syrian presence in Lebanon.

Does anyone doubt that Syria– with thousands of troops in Lebanon– calls the shots when it comes to arresting people like Mugraby? Doesn’t Syria’s control over the Lebanese government amount to an occupation?

This is so obvious and so wrong that all the Western movements devoted to fighting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza are just as firm in their denunciation of the Syrian occupation. They are demanding the immediate withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lenbanon and the immediate release of Mugraby and other imprisoned Lebanese freedom fighters. They’re organizing boycotts of Syrian-made products and calling on universities to divest from companies that do business in Syria. The International Solidarity Movement has sent volunteers to Lebanon to act as “human shields” for local human rights activists.

These things are happening. Aren’t they?

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