Lebanon orders investigation into allegations of torture of Syrian detainees | Refugee News

Amnesty International last week accused the Lebanese authorities of “cruel and abusive” treatment of more than 20 Syrians in detention.

Lebanon’s Attorney General Ghassan Oueidat has ordered an investigation into the alleged torture of more than 20 Syrians in detention following a report by Amnesty International.

Amnesty, in a report published last week, accused Lebanese authorities of “cruel and abusive” treatment of more than 20 Syrians who he said had been tortured in prison or during interrogation.

He blamed in particular the Lebanese military intelligence office and said the abuses mainly concerned a military intelligence center in Ablah district in eastern Lebanon, the general security office in Beirut or the ministry of defense.

Oueidat on Monday called on the government representative at the military court to “open an investigation into Amnesty International’s allegations of the arrest and torture of Syrian refugees detained on terrorism-related charges,” the official news agency reported. national.

In its report, Amnesty cited detainees as saying they faced some of the same torture techniques commonly used in Syrian prisons.

They were hung upside down, forced into stressful positions for long periods of time and beaten with metal rods and electric cables, according to the rights group.

“Lebanon passed an anti-torture law in 2017, but still has failed to implement it, and complaints of torture rarely reach the courts,” the group said.

At least 14 of the 26 reported cases were held on terrorism-related charges on discriminatory grounds, including political affiliation, he added.

Several detainees said Lebanese security forces referred to their opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the beatings, saying the attacks may have been politically motivated, the group said.

“In many cases, refugees who escaped war, ruthless repression and widespread torture have found themselves arbitrarily detained and held incommunicado in Lebanon, where they face many of the same horrors as those employed in Syrian prisons, ”said Marie Forestier, researcher on the rights of refugees and migrants. to Amnesty.

“At every stage, from arrest to questioning, detention and prosecution in unfair trials, the Lebanese authorities have totally disregarded international human rights law,” said Forestier.

The cases reviewed by Amnesty also included a handful of Syrian women detained “because of the alleged activities of their male relatives, or in order to pressure male relatives to confess or surrender,” the group said.

Lebanon says it hosts 1.5 million Syrians – nearly a million of whom are registered as refugees with the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Nine out of 10 Syrians in Lebanon live in extreme poverty, according to the UN.

Lebanese authorities have systematically pressured the Syrians to return, even as rights groups warn that Syria is not yet safe.

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