Human Rights Watch Pointed To Flaws & Negligence In Investigations By Lebanese Authorities

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international organization that exposes abuses of power around the world, issued a report presenting the flaws in investigations related to politically linked murders in Lebanon.

The files HRW examined are those of four murders in Lebanon that remain in the dark with no arrest and no justice served. with still no answer and no justice: 

Lokman Slim, a longtime Hezbollah critic, Joe Bejjani, an amateur military photographer, Colonel Mounir Bou Rjeily, a retired customs officer, and Antoine Dagher, the head of Byblos Bank’s ethics and anti-fraud.

“The investigations concerning multiple failures, gross negligence, and procedural violations in four politically sensitive murder investigations in the past two years reflect that generous donor funding and training to Lebanon’s security forces and judiciary have not resulted in the rule of law,” HRW issued.

HRW examined these investigations led by the Internal Security Forces (ISF) whose personnel has received training from the European Union, Germany, and the United States for the use of forensic and biometric evidence, under public prosecution supervision into the four murders for which no suspects were identified.

Lebanon researcher at HRW Aya Majzoub stated, “The unsolved murders and shoddy homicide investigations are a reminder of the dangerous weakness of Lebanon’s rule of law in the face of unaccountable elites and armed groups.”

There have been more than 4 politically linked murders in recent years and in which investigations led to no arrests and no justice.

A captain of a yacht, identified by the initials A.S., was killed on December 20th, 2020, the day before Joe Bejjani, and believed to have had information about what happened at the port during the Beirut Blast.

It’s worth noting, in context, that Colonel Joseph Skaf, a retired customs officer, who had first warned about the ammonium nitrate at the Beirut Port and its risk to public safety, was also found murdered in his house in 2017. His family is still awaiting justice.

HRW is now stressing that “the Lebanese authorities should ensure that their murder investigations should be independent and ensure that those responsible are held to account.”

This comes at a time when the Lebanese are commemorating the one year of Lokman Slim’s assassination, which is still triggering anger and outrage in a country where politics and political alliances have proven to be more important than justice and truths.

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