On Dec 21, 2016 Human Rights Watch reported: (Beirut) – A 31-year-old Syrian refugee in Lebanon was allegedly detained and tortured in February 2016, apparently on suspicion of being gay, Human Rights Watch said today. The man, identified only as Shadi for his protection, told Human Rights Watch that he had been detained by Lebanese Military Intelligence officers, and tortured over a five-day period at Military Intelligence, Ministry of Defense, Military Police, and Internal Security Forces centers.
Human Rights Watch interviewed Shadi in Beirut in March, but, upon his request, waited to publish his story until he was safely resettled to Europe. On November 2 and 3, Human Rights Watch sent letters to the Ministries of Defense and Interior, Military Intelligence, Military Police, and Internal Security Forces, detailing the torture allegations and calling for a full investigation. The Interior Ministry responded on December 13, saying that it had a complaints procedure but would not be able to pursue an investigation and penalize offending officers unless the victim filed a complaint in person.
“Torture is common in Lebanon’s detention centers, but vulnerable people like Shadi, a gay Syrian refugee, are at particular risk,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The routine abuse of detainees isn’t going to stop until Lebanon puts an end to the culture of impunity surrounding its security forces.”
Lebanon has failed in the past to properly investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment by security services. Lebanese authorities should immediately investigate the allegations of torture in this case and hold everyone responsible to account.