On the 18th of July, The Lebanese Center for Human Rights organized a public invitation to the raising awareness play entitled “W Ma Tallet Colette” at the theater of Metro Al Madina- Hamra at 8:30 pm.
The play is written by Ziad Itani and Khaled Sobih, directed by Hashim Adnan, and performed by Ziad Itani, Khaled Sabeeh, Ahmed Khatib, Ziyad Shukroun, and Firas Atari.
A number of representatives from human rights organizations, national commissions, lawyers, activists, university students, and members of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights attended the event and participated in a subsequent discussion around torture in Lebanon with the President of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights Wadih Asmar and actor Ziad Itani.
In a comic and critical context, the play “W Ma Tallet Colette” displays the torture that Ziad Itani suffered from last year over 109 days.
The play sarcastically shows the way a security man in the third world deals with the detainee without any regard for his dignity or any interest in the obviousness of the matter. It also sheds light on the media and the rush to achieve the journalistic “scoop” violating laws and degrading the dignity of the people and their presumption of innocence.
Between security and media obsession, the title of the play refers to “Colette” which transforms from a fictional character to an ultimate truth in which all citizens believe in.
Meanwhile, the character of "Fawzi" remains accused of the worst charges according to the media and popular platforms, as he destroys his life and his family before being able to defend himself.
Within the context of the play, "Fawzi" is a character who faces an incident representing the accusation of Ziad Itani. The driver, “Fawzi” of the background objects an influential woman. This costs him a fabricated charge of being an Israeli agent and suddenly turns his life from a normal one to endless chapters between interrogation cellars and interrogation sessions with amateur investigators willing to record any achievement at any price.
After that, “Fawzi” moves on to get to know the prison world where he spends his days with prisoners including professional criminals, oppressed ones, and those who unfortunately ended up behind bars.
At the end of the play, Ziad Itani splits from “Fawzi” as a character and shares his story with the audience, he also tells the details of torture means he suffered from, as well as psychological pressures from the media and society.
The play showed the ugly methods of torture in a light manner, as it was followed by a discussion between Itani and Asmar around the reality of torture and its methods of prevention in Lebanon. The discussion also included the need for a proper implementation of the law and a collaborative approach between NGOs and the civil society in order to grant detainees a fair trial and inform them of the right to have a defensive attorney.
Wrapping up the event, the Lebanese Center for Human Rights thanked attendees for participating in this awareness activity, hoping that law (65) which criminalizes torture in all its forms will be implemeted, and that the incident Ziad faced and suffered from would not be repeated towards any human being for it is a breach of human rights by all means.