PRESS RELEASE: News of possible release of Lebanese prisoners greeted with cautious welcome

Islamic Human Rights Commission

11th November 2003

PRESS RELEASE: News of possible release of Lebanese prisoners greeted with cautious welcome

IHRC cautiously welcomes news that Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani, two Lebanese national kidnapped in 1989 and 1994 by the Israeli Defence Force from their homes in Lebanon, may be released in a prisoner exchange in the coming days or weeks.

IHRC has campaigned for the release of both men since its inception some seven years ago. The infamous Israeli law enacted in 2002 entitled the “Imprisonment of Combatants Who are Not Entitled to Prisoner-of-War Status,” was dubbed the ‘Obeid-Dirani Law’, as an acknowledgement of the fact that it allowed their continued detention without charge, as well as legitimising further abductions.

Chairman Massoud Shadjareh said:

“For a long time the international community feared to even mention the names of these prisoners. When we began our campaign, even the Red Cross mentioned both men by description only and would not name them in their reports. Sustained international campaigning by ordinary citizens has ensured that these men did not remain forgotten, and gave succour to embattled human rights organisations to defend the rights of these men as any others kidnapped and held incommunicado for so long.

“We pray that they will be released in the every near future.”

To find out more about the cases of Dirani and Obaid, please visit the Innovative Minds Resource page which indexes various sources including IHRC’s on the subject. The page can be found at:

And contains photographic, text and audio resources as well as links.

For more information or copies of the reports sent by email please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222, (+44) 7958 522 196 or email

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183