Rights Groups Demand Investigation into Torture Claims against Suspected Spy

Seven rights groups have demanded that an investigation be launched in allegations that suspected Israeli spy, Tareq al-Rabaa, had been subject to torture while in custody.

They said in a statement that Rabaa was tortured while he was at the Defense Ministry on July 12, 2010, where he was being held for investigation.

It explained that while he was at the ministry, he received a telephone call from a French number that the Lebanese military intelligence suspected to be from the Mossad Israeli intelligence.

Rabaa was consequently tortured, forced to take off his clothes, and arrested against his will.

He was tortured through electric shock and beaten on his ears, continued the statement.

The suspect was allowed to meet with his lawyer after 32 days of detention, it added.

The lawyer however found out that the number actually belonged to a company that cooperates with Lebanon’s Alfa mobile phone services provider.

Rabaa was tortured for 108 days before being jailed in Roumieh prison, stressed the rights groups.

In addition, they revealed that the suspect refused to sign a confession presented to him by Lebanese intelligence.

This confession was the basis of the arrest warrant issued by the military judiciary in which Rabaa was accused of collaborating with Israel, the statement noted.

The suspect’s trial commenced in February 7, 2011 during which the Defense presented all evidence proving his innocence and torture, but the military tribunal refused to take the reports into consideration, it explained.

The statement said: “Rabaa is a victim of torture and his ordeal is a dangerous violation of Lebanon’s criminal trial law.”

It demanded his immediate release and holding those responsible for his torture accountable for their actions.

“Military tribunals are violating internationally recognized laws on conducting fair trials,” it stressed.

The statement was signed by the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, al-Karama organization, the World Organization against Torture, the Lebanese Association for Education and Training, the International Federation for Human Rights, Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme, and the Christian Movement to against Torture.

Observers attributed this unjust arrest to Hizbullah’s efforts to prove that telecommunications evidence used by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has been tampered with by Israel through its spies in Alfa.

They added that Rabaa probably paid the price of these efforts.

Last year, Lebanese authorities arrested a number of individuals working for Alfa on suspicion of collaborating with Israel.

The STL has accused four Hizbullah members of being involved in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

Hizbullah has slammed the accusations, deeming the tribunal an Israeli-American product aimed at destroying the party.

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