The struggle of the families of the missing and disappeared started in 1982, after they put up with their pain. The families then persevered and united under the framework of “Committee of the families of the kidnapped and disappeared in Lebanon”. The families have formed a unique body that does not resemble any other Lebanese bodies and sects, where it contains members of all different denominations, religious sects, professions, beliefs, regions, and some nationalities. The committee of the families has regarded itself responsible for demanding and pursuing the liberation and discloser of the fate of all persons that have been kidnapped, missing, or forcefully disappeared since the beginning of the war in April 1975 until the date it was declared over.
In the year 1990, Support of Lebanese in Detention and Exile (SOLIDE) was formed, and it embraced the Committee of the families of detainees in Syrian prisons.
In the year 2000, coordination between the committee of the families and SOLIDE was initiated. Subsequently, the actions of the families became almost unified upon establishing the protest tent in Gibran Khalil Gibran garden since April, 2000.
The struggle of the families did not cease during or after the days of the war. Their perseverance and upholding of the rights to know the fates of their loved ones have made the civil society regard them as persons made of steel. How would it not? After passing through the years of the war without ever getting tainted or infected, as if they were made from a different clay; built with a different, firmer nature.
Despite all difficulties and obstacles that the families faced, many accomplishments have been made on their part, especially when it comes to disclosing the fate of their loved ones. The last and most important achievement was the judicial resolution that was issued in 2014 by the Council of State, highest administrative judicial authority, consolidating the families’ right to know the fates of their loved ones, and requiring the Lebanese government to give these families a copy of the report made by the official committee investigating their missing, without any restrictions, derogations, or exclusions. After having received the copy of the report from the Lebanese government, in order to preserve it , the committee of the families sent it outside of Lebanon, and entrusted it in the custody of the international delegation of the Red Cross in Geneva.
Today, the struggle of the families is focalized around translating the judicial resolution into action, and finding an acceptable scientific solution for the issue. This is done through:
- Executive procedures: The immediate commencement of collecting and preserving all biological samples (DNA) from the families of the missing and forcefully disappeared; a necessity to identifying the remains found, and facilitating the distinction between human bones and animal ones.
- Legislative procedures: Accelerating the adoption of the proposed law on missing and forcefully disappeared which is available with the parliamentary committee for human rights.
Most countries in the world which have undergone wars have been able to find a just and honorable solution to the case of their missing.
Is it illogical for the case of the missing in Lebanon to remain without a solution even though the war has completed its fortieth year?!