International human rights groups have condemned acts of torture in Lebanese prisons following the death of a Syrian refugee in detention and urged authorities to transfer the investigation into his death from a military to a civil court.
Lebanese authorities arrested 5 State Security agents on suspicion of torturing a Syrian detainee to death, in the latest abuse allegation against the security services, a judicial source told AFP.
The young Syrian, Bashar Abdel Saud, “died within three hours of his arrest after being subjected to severe torture and beatings that triggered a heart attack,” the source said, adding that the detainee was pronounced dead on arrival in the hospital.
“To ensure transparency and impartiality, Abdel-Saud’s case must urgently be referred to a civilian court,” Amnesty’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Heba Morayef said in the statement. “His family deserves justice and reparations for their tragic loss.”
Meanwhile, several of Lebanon’s recently elected independent legislators penned critical statements.
“What happened completely contradicts our aspirations for Lebanon,” Ibrahim Mneimneh, a member of the Change bloc, told Associated Press. “We need human rights to be a key reference point to all the work we do.”
He added that the security agency conducting an internal investigation is a “conflict of interest.”
Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights groups have shared similar stances. Human rights organizations have frequently criticized Lebanon for what they say is an incomplete 2017 anti-torture law, and authorities not putting it into practice five years later.