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The Amnesty International delegates will arrive in Lebanon on Saturday 27 May, and will carry out immediate investigations into the procedures for arresting and detaining those said to be members of the Israeli proxy militia, the South Lebanese Army (SLA), their families and those thought to have been sympathetic to the Israeli presence in the territory.

Amnesty International is arranging meetings with representatives of the Lebanese government to seek assurances that those taken into custody by the Lebanese authorities will be granted full human rights protection under international standards. It will also be reminding the government that all those within the country – including members of Hizbullah – are bound by the law, and that the government has full responsibility to prevent any human rights abuses by armed groups within its territory.

While in the region Amnesty International will be reiterating serious concern for the plight of several thousand individuals seeking asylum in Israel. It is a basic international standard that no asylum-seeker should be returned to a country where he or she might suffer grave violations of human rights.

Amnesty International will also be repeating its recent call for Israel to free remaining hostages held in Israel, including Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim 'Ubayd and Mustafa al-Dirani. Mustafa al-Dirani has been held since May 1994 in incommunicado detention, without contact with his family or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim 'Ubayd was only allowed to see the ICRC and exchange letters with his family about three months ago.

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