Justice for Lebanon


Brussels, 22-23-24 February 2008, Programme of the Int'l citizen's tribunal on the crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon

The crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon during the summer 2006 are a violent affront to the universal human conscience. These are criminal acts, as many people feel instinctively. They are different from the acts that take place in all armed conflict committed by the aggressor as well as by the aggressed. But feeling is not enough. The facts must be established. They must then be assessed in light of existing international law. This should be done with the detachment and rigor of a process that excludes any a priori conclusions, the results of which will convince all people of good will.

The international community is not an autonomous political and juridical body. It is but a summation of positions adopted by a certain number of governments. In many situations it has proved incapable of applying existing law by distancing itself from geopolitical or ideological contingencies. This impunity has covered up the numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed since the end of World War II.

The unilateral attitude of the United States of America, like the double-speak of many European governments, make it necessary for those defending the law to take the place of failed political powers. The American administration is against any questioning of Israel's role in acts committed in Lebanon. EU countries like Germany, Great Britain, Finland and France refuse to support a request formulated at the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the use by the Israeli armed forces of arms that are prohibited by international law. The systematic disinformation practiced by an overwhelming majority of the media deprives Western public opinion of balanced information. All this justifies an initiative by the citizens themselves.

A group of citizens gathering human rights or ecological activists, humanitarian workers, jurists, political scientists, all friends of Lebanon, enjoying the support of more than 300 opinion leaders all over the world, is planning to organize, in Brussels (Belgium), on 22-23-24 February 2008, the meeting of an "international jury of conscience".

During the opening session, a statement of charge will introduce the process. It is based on a report issued by the Human Rights Committee of the Lebanese Parliament about the crimes committed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF - official name of the Israeli armed forces) between 12 July and 14 August 2006 in Lebanon. The following sessions will give the opportunity to testify to Lebanese victims and survivors, to Lebanese and foreign witnesses, to Lebanese jurists, to representative of international human rights organizations. The Israeli side will have the possibility to present explanations. The jury, formed by prominent magistrates from the 5 continents, will present conclusions. On Saturday evening, a roundtable will give the floor to international experts on Lebanon.

Such an initiative requests funds. The organizing team has to buy flights tickets and to book hotel rooms for all the people coming from Lebanon but also for the 5 members of the jury. The renting of the rooms in the conference center and the fees for the translators have also to be paid. The total budget reaches 125.000 US dollars.

Feel free to support a citizen's initiative that must take place due to the lack of concern by official sides.

Raoul Marc JENNAR & Leila GHANEM, co-organizers

Hosting Bank account : URFIG, Bruxelles, IBAN : BE60 0682 3497 7170 ; BIC : GKCCBEBB
with this message : "support to the International Jury of Conscience Lebanon"

International Associations Center
Washington Street, 40
Brussels, February 22 - 23 - 24, 2008


Friday February 22
8:30 to 11:15 p.m.:

• Opening, reception and general presentation (15 min)
• Declaration of the International Peoples Tribunal (15 min)
• Declaration of Jury on the decision to consider only the actions of the Israeli army (15 min)
• Reading the indictment (90 min)
• Reaction of the defendant (30min)

Saturday February 23:

The morning: victims

>From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.:

• 8 victims will testify (15 min each one)

>From 11:30-to 11:45 a.m.: coffee/tea break

>From 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
• testimony from the mayor of a village (30 min)
• testimony from the mayor of a city (30 min)

>From 12:45 to 2 p.m.: Lunch break

The afternoon: witnesses

>From 2 to 4:30 p.m.:
• the Lebanese Red Cross (30 min)
• Green Peace Lebanon (30 min)
• A Lebanese economic institute (30 min)
• The international NGOs (20 min each one)
>From 4:30 to 4:45 p.m.: coffee/tea break
>From 4:45 to 6:45: statements by 4 Lebanese lawyers (30 min each one)

The evening: round table with Lebanese and international journalists

>From 8:30 to 11 p.m.: four Lebanese journalists will dialog with a French journalist, a British journalist and a Belgian journalist. The debate will be chaired by a European member of Parliament.

Sunday February 24:

>From 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.: statement of Dr Hugo RUIZ DIAZ BALBUENA, attorney and representative of The Association of American Attorneys at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations

>From 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.: statement from a representative of Amnesty International and a representative of Human Rights Watch

>From 10:45 to 11:00 a.m.: coffee/tea break

>From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: statement from a representative of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations

>From 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.: Lunch break

>From 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.: indictment

>From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.: reaction of the defendant

Starting 4:00 p.m.: Jury deliberation

At 5:00 p.m.: Read the verdict

The jury is composed of five people, one from each inhabited continent, each of them judges by profession.

The entire hearing will be recorded and filmed. The debates will be translated simultaneously into English, Arabic and French.

Various documents and reports/ratios will be placed at the disposal of the public. A bookstore will be accessible.

The hearing will take place in a room holding 250 people. Videos will be shown in an adjoining room.