Lebanon appoints commissioners for the missing and forcibly disappeared persons

Cover page of the Law 105 Cover page of the Law 105 UNAM Documentation and Research Official

23 June 2020

By appointing Commissioners, Lebanon gets closer to fulfilling the right to know the truth of the families of the missing

After Lebanon’s brutal 15-year Civil War ended in October 2015, the fate of thousands of people who went missing remains unknown. In November 2018, The Lebanese Parliament passed the Law 105 which intends to establish an independent national commission to function as the primary institution responsible for coordinating an effective and meaningful response to the need of families to know the truth about their missing relatives. As recognized in international law and by Lebanese courts, it is the families’ right to learn the truth and fate about their missing and forcibly disappeared relatives.

To provide technical, operational and fiscal input on the establishment of such a Commission, the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) published a report specifically for the Lebanese context. ICTJ suggested a ten-member commission composed of experienced and independent members from all relevant fields. As stated by the ICTJ, commissioners play a key role in achieving an effective and credible commission; therefore, their moral authority is essential for the commission’s success. 

It is the appointed commissioners’ responsibility to adhere to the ethical standards of Article 13 of the Law 105, which include honesty, impartiality and trustworthiness. Additionally, commissioners must exercise their receptiveness towards the victims while acting in accordance with the Human Rights.

While the commissioners’ experience and skills are essential for the truth finding, it is imperative the Lebanese government assists those advocating for their right of learning the truth by providing all the necessary resources and independence for the commissioners to carry out its mandate impartially and free of political interference. Thousands of families have been locked in a state of frozen grief and it is time for the Lebanese authorities to address one of the most painful legacies of the civil war. Regardless of the current economic crisis Lebanon faces, the commission and the families’ right of knowing the truth should be a top priority for the government.



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Author: Carolina Tellez; Editor: Sara Gorelli

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