On the decree to withdraw the nationality: people’s rights are not up for political bargains

Fri, 11/04/2011

On 20-06-1994, they were granted the Lebanese nationality for political-electoral purposes. On 28-10-2011, the nationality was withdrawn from them because the Lebanese state had given them that nationality by mistake!!! Thus, a number of Lebanese citizens are now under the mercy of the haphazard decrees and decisions issued by the Lebanese state every now and then in light of the absence of a clear and transparent legal framework. These decisions are producing deep negative effects in these people’s social, economic, and even political lives. Thousands of concerned families are living in a constant concern as they are helpless in the face of these decisions.
The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” has always worked vehemently on calling for the rights of all the citizens to the Lebanese nationality through the amendment of the present Lebanese nationality law in a way that is consistent with the international agreements, Human Rights, citizenship, and equality between all the citizens. As for the decree indicating the withdrawal of 180 citizens’ nationalities “as a first step,” the campaign expresses its extreme concern and surprise for the ease with which the officials have signed the decree without even bothering to provide transparent and persuasive explanations to the public as to the circumstances and background of this decision; and without them explaining the fate of the families that will be affected by this decision as well as the fate of the other thousands of families who might be subjected to this decision; and last but not least, without any accountability as to the officials who are responsible for this impasse.

Thus, the campaign believes that the current dilemma of the families that were affected by the decision to withdraw the nationality as well as the thousands of families who might also be affected is due to the unwell-thought-of decisions. Indeed, and in the absence of any official and transparent investigation, they are saying that the decision to grant the Lebanese nationality to dozens of thousands of families back in 1994 was actually not built on any legal provision that guarantees the citizenship rights.

The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” is surprised by the insistence of the government to withdraw the nationality from the people who do not deserve it – and this is indeed a requirement – while it denies this very right to the Lebanese women who are married to foreigners. The campaign demands a quick explanation on the part of the officials in order to quickly clarify the ways through which the affected families can appeal this decision in the event that they feel that they have been unjustly treated; and how these families can learn more about their legal fate especially that the nationality will be withdrawn from other groups after studying their files as per the concerned decree.

The campaign considers that the present decree represents an extension of the political show of force that was launched through the passing of the 1994 decree, followed by the appeal presented by MP Naamatallah Abi Nasr through the 2003 decree. On this point, one must wonder about MP Abi Nasr’s keenness to justly resolve this issue while he refused to do the same for the Lebanese women married to foreigners.

The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family” believes that people’s rights are not a commodity and that they must not be subjected to the politicians’ whims. These politicians would grant people their rights and then withdraw them again under many different and unconvincing pretexts. The campaign stresses that the rights of the Lebanese citizens cannot be achieved via random political decision but rather by granting everybody their due rights, and by amending the current unjust law towards women and replacing it with a modern and fair nationality law that guarantees justice for everybody.

The campaign, “My Nationality is a Right for me and my Family”

Friday November 4, 2011