If you were an active protester in the Lebanese Revolution that started off last October, then you are probably aware of the many investigations held with revolutionaries who were detained by the government security apparatuses many times. Usually, for vague or unfair reasons, and always without the right for a lawyer.
That won’t be the case anymore. Today marks a new victory for the Lebanese revolution and all activists who endeavor for what is just and right there where the state fails.
Article 47 is now officially part of the Lebanese law, which guarantees what should have been part of the Lebanese people’s basic right from the start.
Basically, it is now a legal right to have your lawyer present when a security or judicial apparatus investigates you, or, more accurately said, when you are being questioned in detainment for protesting for your rights as a citizen.
Article 47 includes:
The right of attorneys to participate in investigations in police precinct.
The right to free legal representation for those that cannot afford one.
The right to know what the suspect is suspected for, and the evidence against them.
The right to medical care (psychological and physical) as well as translation services.
Recording the investigations in audio or video format.
Article 47 ensures that everysecurity force and Lebanese institution must abide by it. However, it still remains illegal to have access to your phone during an interrogation without a judicial order, a common practice used to manipulate and scare citizens.
This new law has been successfully implemented thanks to Melhlem Khalaf, the independent head of the Beirut Bar Association.
Khalaf was elected on November 17 of last year, exactly one month after Lebanon’s unexpected revolution began. The now-head of the Beirut Bar Association ran an independent campaign against candidates backed by sectarian parties.
Due to his history in joining local protests, volunteering, and aiding in humanitarian work, many saw him as the perfect candidate for the Lebanese revolution and his victory its first electoral success.