A buried past: NGOs in Lebanon want to dig up mass graves from the civil war
The Economist

 LINA MAHFOUZ was six years old when Lebanon’s civil war began. She remembers hearing screams outside her bedroom window. One evening she saw a man in black carrying what looked like a dead body into the orange grove behind her home. “Years later I realised what they were doing. They were torturing and then burying people in the orchard,” she says. “The bodies are there.”

It has been nearly 30 years since the civil war ended. But thousands of people are still missing. Most are probably dead: killed in Syrian prisons, dumped in the Mediterranean or buried in one of more than 100 mass graves dug by sectarian militias. The men who started the war also negotiated the peace, granting themselves amnesty for their crimes. Many are still in power. The government has had scant interest in digging up the past.
But several Lebanese NGOs think bringing up the bodies will provide closure to the families of the missing. They support a bill that would establish an independent commission to investigate the fate of the missing, protect and exhume mass graves, and return the bodies to their families. One of the NGOs, Act for the Disappeared, has found 111 burial sites, 23 of which are in Beirut. The International Committee of the Red Cross has begun collecting samples of saliva from relatives to identify bodies.
Finding the bodies is becoming harder, as memories fade, and graves are not always protected. The orange grove next to Ms Mahfouz’s home was chopped down to make way for apartment blocks. Building firms often burn human remains when they stumble on them or bury them under building foundations. Some militias dumped bodies in cemeteries, mixing them with the bones of others. Religious authorities that control the cemeteries don’t want to reveal atrocities committed by their own side. When the police get their hands on bodies they sometimes rebury them in unmarked graves, for lack of space in morgues.
Politicians argue that digging up the dead will reopen old wounds. Many fear being called to account for past crimes so the draft law does not mention justice. Assad Chaftari, once head of intelligence for a Christian militia, sees the benefit of exhuming the bodies. “If we don’t speak of the wounds of the past then we are passing the suffering, the pain and the anger to the next generation.”
الغاء الطائفية السياسية التي هي السبب الجوهري في تأخر البلاد.      اعتبار الرشوة في الانتخابات جناية والتشدد في معاقبة مرتكبيها.       اخضاع النائب لمراقبة ديوان المحاسبة بالنسبة لموارده ومصاريفه، ولمحكمة الاثراء غير المشروع لتأكيد صفة النزاهة      عدم الجمع بين الوزارة والنيابة ، واسقاط النيابة عن كل من يتولى الوزارة.      وضع قانون يحدد سن تقاعد النواب عند الرابعة والستين لتمكين الجيل الجديد من الدخول والتمثل ، دورياً في المجلس النيابي.   
رابطة أصدقاء كمال جنبلاط ٢٠١٢، جميع الحقوق محفوظة
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