The Lebanese weekly Magazine published an interview with the head of the dismantled Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea, incarcerated since February 1994, made through one of his lawyers, in which he says the decision to release him has been made, but “the timing could be after one month or after one year.”
The full interview:
You’ve been in jail for 6 years, do you feel isolated from the world?
The authorities are trying to completely isolate me from society, and that’s a sentence added to the political sentences issued against me. No political or non-political Lebanese figure has ever suffered such isolation since Independence. Cutting me off from my friends all these years, disallowing them to know my news and disallowing me to know their news except through my lawyers is a disgrace to the government of law and national unity. Not only did the court sentences prove that I’m a political prisoner, but the treatment proves it par excellence. I’m a political detainee, I haven’t been arrested legally, and I’ve been deprived of my legal rights for the last 7 years. But I have my right as a political prisoner.
What did you expect when you turned yourself in in 1994?
When I took the decision to be heard, I considered the law and only the law would be the backdrop of all decisions.
Do you regret your decision?
My friends and I are resisting, and a resistor does not regret because he’s a believer. My faith in what we’re doing for a new Lebanon is great.
If you could go back in time, would you have taken the same decision?
The decisions were limited back then. Let’s say they were three: First, leaving the country, a decision I do not believe in, because, in my opinion, whoever exits from geography exits from history; second, the military resistance’s choice, I believed that day that Lebanon emerged from the military war and will not return to it, because other wars have begun, the first of which is that we, as political officials, must know how to learn from the painful war, and to make up for it with work for the country and the citizen’s interest, to win back what we lost in the war; third, is to walk the path of others, and sign what I’m told to sign, like election laws, nationalization, and others that I do not accept. This is something I do not accept, so I took the known choice. But if I were to turn back time, and under the same circumstances, I would take the same decision to keep the hope for the future.
Do you expect to be freed soon?
The decision was made, but the timing could be after a month or after a year. We can’t stop history, we as individuals can facilitate its work somehow or obstruct it somehow, but history always goes forward.
What givens could contribute to your release?
True national accord and the building of a state of law for the Lebanese.
There are two options for your release, one is a special pardon from the president, and the second is by amending the pardon law. Which would you prefer?
The president could send a letter to parliament asking for an amendment of the pardon law issued in 1991, thus resulting in amending an old law under the president’s request, and he would also have fulfilled his motto of establishing a state of law, erasing all doubts and lifting injustice, and providing equality in front of the law.