June 26, 2013

I. Recommendations


To the Ministry of Interior

  • Establish a centralized and accessible system for receiving and processing complaints of Internal Security Forces (ISF) abuse of suspects or other malfeasance and ensure that complaints are trackable through unique complaint numbers.
  • Ensure that all members of the ISF are clearly identifiable through name and rank tags on their uniforms.
  • Ensure that the ISF properly implement the Code of Criminal Procedure, particularly its limits on pre-trial detention and the requirement that detainees be promptly brought before investigative judges.

To Investigative Judges and Other Members of the Judiciary

  • Thoroughly investigate all allegations of torture and mistreatment of suspects by members of the ISF, and prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law.
  • Overturn all convictions of defendants that were based upon confessions extracted under duress.
  • Create and enforce guidelines to ensure that judges deem inadmissible all confessions and other evidence obtained under torture.
  • Ensure that investigative judges carry out their roles in preliminary investigations as required by the Lebanese Code of Criminal Procedure.

To the Lebanese Government

  • Immediately prepare and submit to the UN Committee against Torture an objective assessment of Lebanon’s efforts to date to implement the Convention against Torture (CAT), as required by Lebanon’s ratification of the treaty.
  • Establish a national preventive mechanism to carry out visits to places of detention, to monitor the treatment of and conditions for detainees, and to make recommendations regarding the prevention of ill-treatment, as required by the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
  • Establish an independent body to investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment by officers of the ISF.
  • Adhere to article 22 of CAT giving the UN CAT committee the authority to look into individual complaints.

To the Lebanese Parliament

  • Amend article 401 of the Penal Code to criminalize all forms of torture and ill-treatment and make Lebanon’s definition of the offenses consistent with the definition in CAT.
  • Increase the penalties for torture convictions so that the sentences defendants receive reflect the gravity of the crime.
  • Repeal article 534 of the Lebanese penal code, which criminalizes “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature.”
  • Amend article 49 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to explicitly guarantee suspects the right to a lawyer during police questioning.
  • Repeal article 523 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which criminalizes women who practice “secret prostitution.”
  • Adopt a law authorizing creation of a national preventive mechanism to monitor detention facilities and combat torture, as required by the OPCAT.

To the US, EU, UK, France, and Other Countries that Fund the Internal Security Forces

  • Audit funding and technical assistance provided to the ISF to ensure that funding is not supporting policies, programs, or practices that violate international law, including torture and ill-treatment of sex workers, people who use drugs, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.
  • Make aid to the ISF more transparent and develop reporting and accountability mechanisms to better assess aid spending and effectiveness.
  • Ensure that aid to the Internal Security Forces supports the development of internal oversight and accountability mechanisms within the ISF, including an independent body to investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment.
  • Refrain from funding Internal Security Forces units that are credibly found to abuse human rights and make resumption of funding to such units subject to enactment of reforms that guarantee the cessation of such abuses and accountability for past violations.