Lebanon Election to be held on June 7th

Electoral Map of Lebanon

Electoral Map of Lebanon

Lebanon is due to hold its national elections in about two weeks on June 7th. This is a unique opportunity for the country’s political leaders to commit themselves and their parties to introducing long-needed human rights reforms.

There are five key areas that the new government elected on June 7th should focus on for reform: creation of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon within the justice system, an end to arbitrary detention and torture, addressing the impunity of past human rights abuses, ending discrimination and violence against women and other marginalized groups, and abolition of the death penalty. You can find out more details on these key reform issues here.

To date, there have been several positive human rights advances in Lebanon, including the Parliament’s drafting of a Human Rights Action Plan. Candidates should embrace these developments and take advantage of this opportunity to implement a clear, comprehensive human rights agenda should they be elected into office.

To learn more about the candidates and the election, click here.

Samah Choudhury contributed to this post

Al Jazeera Video on AI Mission

In a moving story on Al Jazeera English, Amnesty International researcher Donatella Rovera walks through a bombed out home in Gaza and discusses how AI has found evidence that Israel fired into civilian areas.

Amnesty International has called upon the US to investigate possible war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas.

In other news, the UN has halted aid after it learned that supplies were seized by Hamas.  Meanwhile Arab TV stations have reported that a Lebanese ship carrying aid was fired upon by Israel. The Guardian reports:

A Lebanese boat said to be carrying ­humanitarian aid but which Israel claims is carrying activists, has been intercepted by the Israeli navy on its way to the Gaza Strip.

Reporters from the Arab TV stations al-Jadeed and al-Jazeera, who were on the vessel, said the Israelis fired at the ship before boarding it and beating the crew. The journalists said they were unable to show pictures of the incident as the Israeli force smashed their broadcast equipment.

At the moment, an estimated 80% of Palestinians in Gaza depend on UN assistance for food.