Lebanese Victim Returned Dead to Beirut
November 9, 1999
This case is a tragic reminder that there are scores of Lebanese and Palestinians who ‘disappeared' on Lebanese soil and whose whereabouts are unknown. Their families deserve answers now, not the delivery of coffins after unexplained deaths in Syrian prisons.
Hanny Megally Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch

The body of a Lebanese citizen who "disappeared" in Lebanon in 1990 was returned to his family last month by Syrian authorities.

"This case is a tragic reminder that there are scores of Lebanese and Palestinians who ‘disappeared' on Lebanese soil and whose whereabouts are unknown," said Hanny Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "Their families deserve answers now, not the delivery of coffins after unexplained deaths in Syrian prisons."

Human Rights Watch requested copies of Ajouri's autopsy report and death certificate, and information about the justification for his detention in Syria for more than nine years. It called on Syria to make public the names of all non-Syrians who are detained in Syria, and to release immediately and unconditionally those who are unlawfully detained. It said that disappearances are among the gravest crimes in international law and may constitute crimes against humanity, whether committed in times of war or peace.

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