In March 2016, the Government of Lebanon submitted its initial Report to the Committee against Torture (CAT). Although this effort is a step forward, the Report had been overdue for 15 years, and contained no substantial information in terms of developments and efforts at the hand of the Lebanese government towards preventing torture in Lebanon. It also had no mention of Lebanon’s progress towards implementing recommendations accepted as a result of the 2015 Universal Periodic Review. While the overall level of human rights protection has witnessed some improvements, these depend on political priorities of individual Ministers rather than coherent policy decisions, and are frequently affected by armed conflicts and clashes. There is interference by the executive body in the judicial process[1], and unconstitutional Military Courts continue to operate.[2]

For many years, Lebanon lacked a system that oversaw the implementation of international treaties, including the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT). The legislative and policy framework to prevent impunity for torture was also absent, putting people in places of detention at greater risk of torture and ill treatment. This changed however in October 2016 when the Lebanese Parliament passed on legislation for the creation of a national preventative mechanism to monitor and investigate the use of torture and ill treatment.[3] On the other hand, torture is still widespread, with numerous cases reported every year, particularly suspects of national security offences, non-Lebanese citizens, LGBT, and drug addicts. A well-functioning legislative and policy framework to prevent impunity for torture is absent.

[1] Lebanon-The Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary, Maya W. Mansour Carlos Y. Daoud, Copenhagen, February 2010, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

[2] Military Tribunal – A Breach in the Integrity of the Judicial System, ALEF-Act for Human Rights, May 2010.

[3] Human Rights Watch, ‘Lebanon, events from 2016’, World Report,


LINK TO REPORT: ALEF Report to UN Committee Against Torture