Lebanon's amnesia for those missing since the civil war





The people who went missing during Lebanon's civil war in the 1970s and 80s are in danger of being forgotten as their parents and siblings grow older. One mother I knew died without ever discovering what happened to her children.

Some 17,000 people vanished during the bloody conflict, most - it is thought - abducted and killed by militias. But some believe a few hundred may still be alive in Syrian jails.

Shortly after the war ended, the Lebanese government passed an amnesty law protecting militia members from being prosecuted for war crimes. It also effectively snuffed out any hopes of a real debate about the bloodshed.

Indeed, it seems the war amnesia is no accident. Since I first came to Lebanon 10 years ago, I've seen traces of the conflict almost completely wiped away.


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