HRW Says Lebanese Police Torturing Vulnerable Detainees

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Lebanese police are torturing vulnerable people being held in custody, including drug users, sex workers and homosexuals, Human Rights Watch charged in a new report on Wednesday.

"Abuse is common in Lebanon's police stations, but it is even worse for people like drug users or sex workers," the New York-based group's deputy Middle East director Nadim Houry said.

The rights group interviewed more than 50 people arrested in the past five years for suspected drug use, sex work or homosexuality, most of whom reported various types of abuse and torture.

"They took me to interrogation naked, poured cold water on me, tied me to a desk with a chain and hung me" in a stress position, Mohammed, who was arrested for drug possession, told HRW.

"They broke all my teeth and nose, and hit me with a gun until my shoulder was dislocated."

Other detainees described being denied food, water and medication as well as phone calls to family members and access to legal representation.

Women, particularly those accused of prostitution, reported a range of sexual abuse, including rape.

"It's normal. They don't see us as human beings," Soumaya, a sex worker who described being sexually assaulted by police officers, told HRW.

"At first I protested, I fought back, then I understood that it's useless," she said.

HRW said existing mechanisms intended to prevent such abuse were failing detainees, noting that in some prisons where cameras are installed, police officers would simply move detainees out of the camera's line-of-sight before beating them.

The Internal Security Forces' human rights committee is understaffed and has no real power, the group said, adding that the judiciary "regularly ignores" complaints about police abuse.

The group urged Lebanon to uphold the Convention against Torture and create an independent body to monitor detention centers.

It also called on the government to "revise its Code of Criminal Procedure to better safeguard the rights of detainees and repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality, drug use and sex work."

HRW said donor countries that have invested money to equip and train Lebanon's security forces "should ensure that their aid supports the development of internal oversight and accountability mechanisms."

Comments 6
Default-user-icon Sarcasm (Guest) 26 June 2013, 12:58

I can't believe that anyone would implicate HA and the positive influence they have had that has clearly helped further a mutual respect between the citizens and law enforcement. HA is a purely nationalistic organization that does not bow down to any foreign power. They always respect all legitimate state institutions and encourage their followers to do so. They do not have their own agenda and they are completely open to other faiths and perspectives within the Shi'ite community. Furthermore, their followers never try to dodge criticism by justifying HA's actions through the historical missteps of others. By the way, they hate wearing black clothes as well and would never do so in an attempt to intimidate others and show allegiance to any master, Farsi or otherwise.

Missing phillipo 26 June 2013, 13:27

Where exactly was HRW when Syrian shells were landing in villages in Lebanon and killing civilians there?

Missing --karim_m1 26 June 2013, 13:45

Nice legacy left behind by Ashraf Rifi, complements of the Al Qaeda school of (in)humane prisoner treatment. Thankfully he's gone, but his ****stains are still all over the place.

Default-user-icon John101 (Guest) 26 June 2013, 15:15

If you want to see how the security personnel treat people, just watch Bil Jerm el mashhoud on MTV.

The security officers in Lebanon should be tried and imprisoned for human rights violations.

There is no excuse in treating people the way they do. I hope the security personnel's mothers and sisters are treated the same way. Like filth and trash.

What a filthy nation.

Missing trigger 26 June 2013, 15:23

drug traffickers deserve whatever they get as they are killing others slowly. they should even get more then mistreatment. so whatever is done to them is not enough.
this is not political and has nothing to do with HA or hariri or anyone.

Thumb benzona 26 June 2013, 21:28

Your comment is so puerile.