Beirut, October 20, 2014
The United Nations Committee against Torture’s report confirms shared concerns amongst Lebanese civil society organizations (CSOs) on the occurrences of torture and ill-treatment in Lebanese detention facilities. Together, Lebanese CSOs present methods to prevent and combat this serious human rights violation.
On 7 October 2014, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) publicized the summary of the inquiry on the practice of torture in Lebanon conducted between May 2012 and November 2013. Describing torture in Lebanon as a “pervasive practice that is routinely used by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies,” the report shows the systematic occurrence of such practices in Lebanon in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention against Torture. The report has set off alarm bells on the human rights situation and the conditions of detention in Lebanon in particular the safeguards of protection of people deprived of their liberty. Ad hoc and stand-alone interventions taken by the Lebanese authorities have proven to be inefficient and unsuccessful in prohibiting and preventing the practice of torture in the country.
The undersigned organizations call upon the Lebanese authorities to adopt a comprehensive policy that will seek to foster accountability for crimes of torture by engaging in serious and impartial investigations that will put an end to the culture of impunity. Such policies need to be accompanied by strong preventive mechanisms such as the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) and competent judicial and executive institutions able to ensure effective remedies such as rehabilitation, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition.
The undersigned organizations reaffirm the need to criminalize torture in accordance with the obligations set forth in the United Nations Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol; and wishes to highlight the role of independent human rights organizations in monitoring places of deprivation of liberty within the aim of preventing torture and engaging in a nationwide awareness-raising and capacity-building efforts targeting the general population, armed forces and law enforcement alike. On the other hand, the undersigned organizations insist that, in its fight against terrorism, the Government of Lebanon should still uphold its commitment to universal human rights and abide by its obligations under international law. Finally, the prevention of torture is not only a cornerstone of legal protection, but it is also a common value and moral principle shared by all parties in the Lebanese society, as inherent to the dignity of all human beings.
Al Karama Foundation (ALK), Saadeddine Shatila, Country Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEF-act for human rights (ALEF), George Ghali, Program Officer, email@example.com
Association Justice et Misericorde (AJEM), Pere Hadi Aya, President and Founder,
Lebanese Centre for Human Rights (CLDH), Wadih Al-Asmar, Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, Mohamad Safa, Secretary General, email@example.com
Ruwad Frontiers (FR), Farid Kamar, Board Member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Restart Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture , Suzanne Jabbour, Director, email@example.com