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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Lebanon orders probe into torture of detained Syrians

BEIRUT (AFP)— Lebanon’s prosecutor general Ghassan Oueidat on Monday ordered a probe into the alleged torture of more than 20 Syrians in custody following a report by Amnesty International, state media reported.
Lebanese authorities were accused of “cruel and abusive” treatment of more than 20 Syrians, according to Amnesty that published last week a report saying those arrested had been tortured in prison or during interrogation.
It blamed in particular Lebanon’s military intelligence bureau and said the abuse was mostly at a military intelligence center in east Lebanon’s Ablah district, the General Security bureau in Beirut or at the defense ministry.
Oueidat called on the government representative at the military court to “open an investigation into claims made by Amnesty International concerning the arrest and torture of Syrian refugees held over terrorism-related charges,” the official National News Agency reported.
Amnesty cited detainees as saying they faced some of the same torture techniques routinely used in Syrian prisons.
They were hung upside down, forced into stress positions for prolonged periods and beaten with metal rods and electric cables, according to the rights group.
At least 14 of the 26 cases it reported were detained on terrorism-related accusations made on discriminatory grounds, including political affiliation, it said.
Lebanon says it hosts 1.5 million Syrians — nearly a million of whom are registered as refugees with the United Nations.
Nine out of ten Syrians in Lebanon live in extreme poverty, the UN says.
Lebanese authorities have systematically pressured Syrians to return even though rights groups warn Syria is not yet safe.

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