Unpoliticizing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

When the resolution 1757 was adopted by the United Nations Security Council adopting the establishing of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to try those found responsible for several attacks and political assassinations of pro-independence and democracy activists in Lebanon, we celebrated the resolution as a turning point for the Middle East that it would be for the first time in the Middle East's history an international accountability for political and against-humanity crimes. A history that knows plenty of such crimes in a region has an international reputation of such violations and brutality, especially while this region is still serving as the authoritarianism's haven even after the dismantling of the Soviet Union and its brutal totalitarian system. Therefore, eventually, this would be a breach of the impunity norm and tradition for those who kill people in the Middle East in the political and ruling context.

Given the long history of the leading international powers in providing the cover for this impunity with their inaction until it seemed to be that there is an implicit system of immunity, which makes these powers like accomplices in these crimes, there is a real concern over the possible extension of this long-standing policy to, somehow, reach the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and its work in a direct or indirect way.

Since the international law, represented by the UN Security Council resolution 1757 and other relevant resolutions and presidential statements adopted by the council, is very clear and decisive in establishing that it is an international affair and task to hold those criminals responsible for Lebanon attacks and assassinations accountable for their crimes with essential collaboration with the Lebanese government, then the non-impunity is internationally established in the most clearer and practical way.

Nevertheless, the question now is about the application of this resolution and this new policy, especially in establishing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the ground and enabling it of discharging its duties to the end it established for by the Security Council.

Our concern, in this context, is about this process to be politicized against the spirit and the goal of the law providing for this entire legal entity and process.

For ensuring the effectiveness and integrity of this entire process, some remarks should be noticed, and some actions should be taken.

First of all, this open endless secret investigation is neither rational nor acceptable considering the huge international resources the investigation has, including legal binding resolutions like resolution 1636. Either the investigation facts should be announced, without endangering the investigation's confidentiality and efficacy, of course, or a timeline should be put for the end of this investigation.

Secondly, the United Nations should adopt transparency in this entire process, its steps should be publicly stated, and a timeline of the tribunal should be announced.

Finally, the United Nations has to make an explanation about the non-understood delay in the work of the tribunal since its statute is tailored to be effective and flexible, especially with the investigation requirements. Not to mention, in this regard, the very early announcement by a concerned party in 2007 stating that the work of the tribunal will start in 2009.

After years of international investigation, it is time to launch the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in a transparent way with no politicizing. It should be kept legal, a pure legal process. Because, this time, neither history nor the Middle East victim peoples would put up with it. So, be aware.

Related materials on Special Tribunal for Lebanon:

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Recruiting

- Registrar of Special Tribunal for Lebanon Begins Duty

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Is Ready ― UN Report

- Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

- Registrar of Special Tribunal for Lebanon Is Appointed, Tribunal Is Ready

- 'Management Committee' of Special Tribunal for Lebanon Is Set Up

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Gets Base, Judges

- The International Tribunal for Lebanon (Resolution 1757)

- UN Report on the Establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

- Tenth report of Hariri International Investigation Commission

- Ninth report of Hariri International Investigation Commission

- Memo for International Tribunal for Lebanon

- Special Tribunal for Lebanon Comes Into Force


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