Calls have rung out loud from an AUB seminar for the release of Lebanese Forces commander Samir Geagea as a precondition for a national reconciliation that would genuinely lower the curtain on the1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.
The behests were made by attorney at law Edmond Rizk, a former Phalange Party member of Parliament, and An Nahar’s editorialist George Nassif during a debate held at the American University of Beirut’s Assembly Hall Wednesday, An Nahar reported on Thursday.
The two speakers accused the current regime in Lebanon of laying down the foundations for a new civil war “as to take us all to the grave.” They also agreed that Geagea’s 9-year solitary confinement in an underground cell at the defense ministry compound in Yarze must be brought to an end.
“It is true that Geagea would not be able to reconstruct Lebanon single handed, but its also true the Lebanon cannot be rebuilt without him,” said Rizk, a Geagea defense attorney during trials in which the LF commander was convicted of an assortment of charges with an overall incarceration verdicts of 120 years.
“Geagea is deprived of his rights as a prisoner, as a citizen and as a human being,” Rizk said. “His freedom is a basic precondition to create a strong state whose national flag is the only banner fluttering on its territory and which is not subject to external intervention to appoint its presidents governments and parliament members,” Rizk said.
Nassif, in turn, said there are four still impending files without the closure of which the civil war would not be closed once and for all. These files are the full return of war-displaced refugees, the determination of the fate of missing Lebanese n Lebanon and Syria, the exile of Gen. Aoun and Geagea’s plight.
“Those who came to power in the name of the Taif accord have pinned the horror of the war on Geagea’s head, creating a case of enormous injustice,” Nassif added.
It was announced at the end of the debate that nearly 60,000 Lebanese have signed a petition calling for Geagea’s release.