5 arrested after Syrian man tortured to death in Lebanese custody
Pictures of Abdel Saud’s tortured body were obtained by Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, causing outrage in Lebanese civil society and on Syrian social media.
The pictures, which also appeared on social media, show evidence of electric shocks, whipping and beatings that bruised and wounded the man, ultimately leading to his death.
Little is known about the Syrian national, who was a resident of Bint Jubeil.
"Death follows us Syrians like a ghost, even as we try and seek out an existence anywhere. Peace be upon the soul of Abdel Saud," tweeted another Syrian refugee.
Security agents involved in the man’s death originally claimed that Abdul Saud died of a heart attack having taken an overdose of captagon pills.
On Friday, the government’s commissioner to the military courts, Fadi Akiki, announced that the case was being referred for investigation into the man’s death.
“The Lebanese military judiciary has assigned the chief officer for the regional headquarters to undertake the investigation into their own activities” reported al-Akhbar.
Earlier in August, police arrested a number of Syrians who they accused of belonging to IS, having fought in Syria. Abdul Saud is believed to have been among them.
The men were suspected of surveilling Lebanese security and financing IS operations through drug-dealing and counterfeit currency.
Accusations of torture and abuse on arbitrary counter-terrorism charges have dogged Lebanese police and intelligence apparatus for years.
"Torture remains prevalent, and accountability for torture and ill-treatment is elusive,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch earlier in 2022.
“Lebanon needs to show that it is serious about combatting torture, and it should start by moving forward the many torture complaints that have been languishing before the judiciary without effective investigations.”