Lebanon indictment of security members in torture case 'encouraging', says Amnesty

Lebanon indictment of security members in torture case 'encouraging', says Amnesty
Amnesty International says that the indictment of members of one of Lebanon's security agencies over the death of a man in custody is an "encouraging development".
2 min read
06 December, 2022
Members of Lebanon's security forces have been indicted in the case [Getty/archive]

The indictment of members of Lebanon’s State Security apparatus over the torture and killing of a Syrian detainee is an "encouraging development," Amnesty International said in a statement Tuesday.

"The fact that Lebanon is finally taking a step towards implementing its anti-torture law is an encouraging development that offers a ray of hope to Bashar al-Saud’s family and other victims," Amnesty said in its statement.

"The Lebanese authorities must now transfer this case from the inherently unfair military courts to the ordinary criminal courts. Both Lebanese law and international legal standards affirm that trials for human rights violations should be conducted in regular courts to ensure that justice is delivered," it added.

On 3 September, five State Security agents – including an officer and four other members - were arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of torturing Syrian Bashar al-Saud to death.

The arrests came on the orders of the government's commissioner to the military court, Fadi Akiki, who had ordered an investigation into the death in custody which happened days prior.

Al-Saud was arrested on suspicion of having ties to the Islamic State extremist group. Pictures of his tortured body went viral on social media, causing outrage in Lebanon. 

A report last week said the General Directorate of State Security was carrying out a reshuffle in all regional offices with the aim of "improving productivity".

Lebanon passed a law banning the use of torture in September 2017, but in March last year Amnesty International published a report detailing the alleged use of torture against 26 Syrian refugees "arbitrarily detained on counter-terror charges".

While no exact numbers exist, Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said in October that there were over two million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, while the United Nations says only around 800,000 are registered.