Coinciding with its 25th anniversary, CLDH organized an event for the launch of its latest report entitled: “Torture, an Illegal and Failing Tool in Interrogations in Lebanon” on Friday the 16th 2021.
The study focused on torture as an illegal and failed tool during interrogations in Lebanon, and addressed the psychological and legal aspects of torture practices. The research included interviews with key informants such as members of the Internal Security Forces, criminologists, psychologists and torture victims, as well as an online survey with Lebanese residents. The study aimed to gather quantitative and qualitative data about the systematic use of torture in Lebanon.
The conference was facilitated by the Center's human rights expert, Ms. Josiane Noun. The opening session was then initiated by the President of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, Mr. Wadih Al-Asmar, who focused on torture practices in Lebanon and the need to apply Law 65/2017, which criminalizes torture.
Ms. Suzanne Jabbour, Chairmain of the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture, then spoke about the impact of torture on investigations in which it restricts the conduct of the investigation and leaves both a psychological and physical impact on the long term. The first session was concluded by the Programs Manager at the Center, Mr. Georges Bou Mansour, who discussed the psychological impact of working on torture cases and with victims on the center’s staff and workers.
The second session focused on "Security actors accountability mechanisms and applied alternative techniques in preventing torture ". Ms. Nadine Moubarak, criminologist and project assistant at the Center, presented the methodology of the study, its main findings and the recommendations proposed by the Center.
Following this presentation, Captain Oliver Homsi, a State Security representative, offered a detailed presentation on the role of emotional separation during investigations and its impact on the investigator and on the reduction of torture.
At the end of the session, Head of the Tripoli Bar Association Me. Mohamad Mrad, focused on the importance of the application of Law (65/2017) and the fundamental problem of judges' failure to apply it since 2017.
The third session revolved around "Torture’s Personal Impact and Role of Independent Bodies" during which judge Hamza Charafeddine expanded on torture in Lebanon between legislation and reality. Ms. Rida Azar, member of the National Prevention Mechanism, then spoke about the important role of the national body in independently addressing such practices.
Lawyer Toufic Al-Dika then shared a testimony about his son Hassan Al-Dika, who allegedly died under torture in May 2019. He focused on the absolute lack of accountability or follow-up on Hassan's case, especially in regards to Law 65/2017.
At the end of the session, the Center screened a short testimony video of a beneficiary from the Center's Nassim Rehabilitation Program for Victims of Torture.
At the end of the conference, a discussion session was held. Questions and answers were exchanged between speakers and participants, including representatives of the Beirut Bar Association, a representative of the Lebanese General Security Directorate, the International Committee of the Red Cross, lawyers, and representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations.
Changing the culture: Looking for the truth, not a confession.
Training and developing capacity of investigators.
Updating investigative techniques.
Activating the role of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
Implementing laws, in particular Law 65, which criminalizes torture.
Raising awareness around the laws protecting detainees and limiting torture.