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Lebanese Prisoners Tortured and Held Incommunicado for Weeks

According to testimonies obtained by Amnesty International detainees in Lebanon were subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment while held incommunicado for weeks following their arrest such as electric shocks, verbal abuse, denigration of their religious beliefs, deprivation from prayers, and threats of sexual abuse of their female relatives. Even after the examining magistrate had finished interrogating them, detainees said they remained blindfolded with their hands cuffed and tied behind their backs. Later on, the detainees were moved to solitary confinement and denied food for two days in cells without access to natural light. Torture mostly took place at the Ministry of Defence Detention Centre at al-Yarze.

Authorities in Lebanon must investigate cases such as these involving physical abuse and others in which detainees have allegedly been coerced to make statements incriminating them under torture or duress. As a state party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment the Lebanese authorities must, pursuant to article 15 'ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made'.

AI INDEX: MDE 18/004/2003 30 January 2003

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Copyright © Laura Rowe.