Beirut, June 26, 2013 – to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, ALEF-Act for Human Rights call on the Lebanese authorities to make every effort to banish the practice of torture in Lebanon.

As a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), the Government of Lebanon should undertake all necessary steps to prevent and criminalize torture and other inhuman treatment. Until today the Lebanese Government has failed to achieve its legal obligations: no law criminalizing torture was put in place and no preventive mechanisms such as the National Human Rights Institution or the National Preventive Mechanism was established. Draft laws, projects and initiatives are still trapped in the political pipeline of the Legislative and Executive powers meanwhile torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments or punishments are ongoing.

Marginalized and vulnerable individuals, such as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, trafficked persons, members of the LGBTQ community and journalists, are at particular risk of being tortured, due to the social, cultural and political exclusion and discrimination. Individuals discriminated against on the grounds of their cultural identity are also particularly vulnerable to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and its effects. Furthermore, individuals allegedly accused of terrorism and those suspected of collaborating with Israel have also been subjected to torture.

Torture is unacceptable and unjustifiable under any circumstances. Not only does it undermine the foundations of any society under the rule of law but it negates the fundamental value of human dignity. ALEF-Act for Human Rights calls on the Lebanese Government to take all necessary steps to prevent and criminalize torture and ill-treatment within the framework of the UNCAT and its optional protocol. The Lebanese Government should fulfill its obligations to the treaty and submit with no additional delays the initial report to the Committee against Torture.