Leaked Video: Lebanese internal Security Forces torturing prisoners

totruteislamists

 

Couple of days ago, a video was leaked on social media have revealed police officers beating and torturing several Islamist prisoners held in Lebanon’s Roumieh prison. , prompting the justice minister to call for an investigation into the incidents. Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said he is responsible and vowed to bring those policemen to justice and take all legal measures against those found guilty of misconduct. justice Minister Ashraf Rifi called the incidents “brutal and barbaric”, pushed to name those behind the beatings, “in order to refer them to specialized judiciary and punish them duly”. According to the Daily Star newspaper, Pro-Islamist Twitter pages have identified the prisoners as Sheikh Omar Atrash from the northeastern border town of Arsal, Qatibah al-Asaad from the Lebanese border area of Wadi Khaled and Wael al-Samad from the Dinnieh town of Bakhoun in north Lebanon. So far Five members of the Internal Security Forces are under arrest.

The video sparked demonstrations on Sunday, with hundreds of people in the northern town of Tripoli blocking roads and staging sit-ins in protest at what local media are dubbing “Lebanon’s Abu Ghraib,” in reference to images that surfaced in 2003 showing US officials torturing inmates in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib Prison.

It seems that the video was taken after the last uprising in the prison. Regardless of the uprising or the crimes these terrorists committed (killing Lebanese soldiers, aiding terrorists cells, …) no one, including terrorists, shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is not the way to curb terrorism or avenge the death of security forces members. The best way is to have a due process, fail trials and let each person serves his verdict in prison. The answer to violence is not violence. We will fall in a vicious cycle. These terrorists will use this video and these action to spread more hatred.

That said, we must also look into who was helping these prisoners? On several occasions, the security forces found cell phones, computers, … in their cells. Many terrorist attacks were planned inside the prison. Who was the head of the Internal Security Forces during this time?  Who allowed them to have access to the outside world? Who gave them all these privileges? We should take a step further and look into who armed them and allowed them to form terrorist cells to attack the Lebanese army? In addition, I understand the reaction of the people who protested the tortures and blocked roads but how come you didn’t show and closed roads when Lebanese soldiers were killed by those terrorists? I’ve one other questions: who filmed this tape? why he filmed it? Who asked him to film it? Why it was released now and not before? Who asked to leak it? Is this Minister Rifi vs Minister Mashnouq?

The saga of these prisoners and Roumieh prison been dragging for a long time. Set trials dates for them and let each one of them face the justice system. Hate breeds hate. Violence breeds violence. Terrorists are eager to have such materials to use them in their propaganda.

Violence against Women: He shot her 20 times

She filled charges against her husband for allegedly beating her over 20 years so he emptied 20 bullets in her body. Ali al-Zein killed his wife, Sara al-Amin, using an AK47 in the suburb of Dohat Aramoun, about 10 kilometers south of Beirut.

One of the sons told Al-Jadeed TV his father had kicked his mother out of the house over the weekend following a quarrel presumably linked to her pressing domestic violence charges against him earlier this month. He said his mother returned overnight before the murder and got into a fierce argument with her husband, adding that he and his siblings woke up to the sound of gunfire, only to find their mother lying on the sofa soaked in her own blood with their father still holding his weapon. The son said his father “had been beating my mother for 20 years,” adding: “We want justice.”

How many women need to be beaten and killed to put down rules to protect women? How many deaths are needed to develop a national strategy to educate people about violence against women? Family Violence is the most common form of violence experienced by women in Lebanon.

When will this chauvinist society understand that a real man doesn’t hit a woman with even a flower????

Under Pressure: the impact of Syrian refugees on Lebanon

Syrian refuge

country-lbnThe continuous deterioration of the security in Syria as a result of the ongoing crisis has forced thousands of Syrians to flee to Lebanon. According to UNHCR estimates, by December 2015 Lebanon will host 1,846,150 Syrian refugees. In 2014, UNHCR had 1,435,840 Syrian refugee registered with them. Lebanon population is around 4.3 million. By the end of 2015, the Syrian refugees will represent around 43% of Lebanon population. The figures can be higher, many refugees sneak into the country without getting registered by the authorities.

Recently, the Lebanese government has established an inter-ministerial crisis cell, and imposed restrictions at the borders. These measures will not deter Syrians from entering the country. These scary numbers of refugees are putting a burden on Lebanese economy and will play a major role in Lebanon demographics in the future. Add to that, the misery these refugees are living in.

Lebanese had experience with refugees. They know how their generosity and the policy of opening doors to people in need backfired and dragged Lebanon into a civil war. During Arab-Israeli war, Lebanon opened its doors to Palestinian refugees. It is to note that currently, Lebanon is home to 1.5 million Palestinian refugee. Some regional and international powers decided to arm the Palestinians to wage a war against Israel from Lebanon. This decision dragged Lebanon into a civil war. Some might decide to do the same with the Syrian refugees in the future. Looking at what is happening between the two Muslim sects (Sunnite and Shiite) in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, it is inevitable that the Syrian refugees (mostly Sunnite) will be used to fuel a religious war in Lebanon.

Lebanon is in danger of entering a new civil war, it’s the duty of the international community to take charge of Syrian refugees crisis in Lebanon. Its their duty to avoid repeating the Palestinian example. The international community must take charge and issue initiatives to either end the Syrian civil war or accept these refugees in their countries. Lebanon, in its current political and economic crisis, can’t handle this amount of refugees.

By the end of 2015, the number of all refugees in Lebanon will be more than 50% of Lebanon population. A major disaster is in the making.

Syria killed my father

walid joumblatt

“Syria Killed my father”, Kamal Jumblatt was killed in 1977 by Syrian intelligence. Since that date, his son, Walid, “was forced” and “Based on my conviction that I am an Arab nationalist and based on the threats that were surrounding Lebanon, I had no choice but to go to Syria and to seal a deal, a political settlement, with those who assassinated Kamal Jumblatt,” became a Syrian ally till few months before the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (in 2005).

It was interesting to listen to Walid Beyk. He laid down before the court a political testimony in Hariri assassination case. Walid words made me remember how his “deal” with those who killed his father affected Lebanon, its people, sovereignty and independence. His words took me back to those dark days, where people were killed because they didn’t believe in “Arab Nationalism”. It made me wonder what is the difference between the actions of “Arab Nationalists” during Lebanon civil war and ISIS actions in Bilad al-sham? Getting killed by a bullet is different from getting killed by a knife? Getting your head chopped by an axe is different from having your through cut by a knife?

Let’s see what Walid Jumblatt forgot to mention how his “deal” with those who killed his father was translated on the ground. This is just a short specimen:

– After the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt, his supporters, proceeded to commit revenge killings against the Christians of the Chouf which left 250 civilians dead.

– In 1978, Walid Jumblatt PSP artillery joined their Syrian allies in bombarding the Christian region of Beirut who were under siege for 100 days.

– In April 81, Syrian troops in Aramoun (jumblatt region) bombarded the East Beirut at a time when students were leaving schools to head home. Casualties and injuries were in the Hundreds.

–  July 14, 1982, Jumblatt PSP ambushed a Lebanese army detachment. Fourteen Lebanese regular soldiers in the attack, and in riposte the artillery units of Jumblatt’s PSP shelled on 18th, 20th and 23rd the Christian-held neighbourhoods of East Beirut (in which over 30 people were killed and 600 injured, mostly civilians).

– September 1983, the famous ethnic cleansing of Christians from the Chouf. The attack was led by Jumblatt PSP and backed by various “Arabist Nationalist” and the Syrian army. Results: over 1,200 killed and butchered and Christians were uprooted from their homes and villages.

The list is long. Walid Jumblatt failed to tell the court the scale of death and destruction that his “deal” with those who killed his father brought with it. Between 1977 till 2005, Walid Jumblatt was a Syrian agent, a Syrian puppet, served the Syrian occupation, lead wars and massacres for them, gained politically from his deal….

Wasn’t it better for him to stand with his father wishes and political ideas (his father opposed Syrian involvement in Lebanon) than killing thousands of Lebanese in the name of “Arab Nationalism”?

Où son mes filles ? Noyées ?

syrian-organ

In August 1989, at dawn, Syrian gunners tried to sink a vessel that used to shuttle people between the port of Jounieh and port of Larnaca in Cuprus. They fired dozens of rockets into the sea. Two Lebanese sisters, aged 17 months and 3 years, drowned when a boat ferrying 16 passengers out to the hovercraft capsized in the waves churned up by the barrage. The following is a french article published by Lebanese french newspaper L’orient Le Jour, written by the mother of the two girls. R.I.P Maya & Rouba Azar.

Mon souvenir le plus marquant de la guerre civile en une dizaine de phrases ?
Tous les textes du monde ne suffiraient pas pour décrire le bouleversement que ma famille a vécu.
La nuit du 5 août 1989, Nabil mon mari, nos deux filles Rouba (3 ans) et Maya (17 mois), et moi, tentions de fuir l’enfer libanais via le port de Jounieh vers Larnaca. C’était la soi-disant « guerre de libération » entre l’armée libanaise commandée par Michel Aoun et l’armée syrienne.
On nous informe qu’on est forcés de prendre la petite chaloupe pour rejoindre l’hydroglisseur qui s’était éloigné du port à cause des bombes. On était 14 à bord. Quelques moments plus tard, une bombe tombe dans l’eau et nous propulse de la chaloupe vers la mer.
Rouba était dans mes bras et Maya dans ceux de mon mari. Sous la force des vagues et du choc, elles sont arrachées de nos bras. Des secouristes me repêchent de la mer et me déposent sur l’hydroglisseur. Je ne savais plus où était ma famille. Pleurs, cris, hystérie, vomissements.
On m’informe ensuite que les enfants et leur père ont été secourus et sont restés à Kaslik. J’appelle à mon arrivée à Larnaca et j’apprends de mon mari qu’on lui avait dit que les enfants étaient avec moi.
Mes filles perdues, noyées en pleine nuit dans la mer sous les bombes. Comment peut-on oublier ? Comment peut-on pardonner ?
Guerre de libération ? Guerre de fous !

Joumana AZAR

The Flower Seller

Fatima the Flower Seller

The Flower Seller paintings was painted in 1941 and depicts a young woman kneeling with a very large bundle of calalilies. In Lebanon we have different flower sellers. Ours are young kids who are forced to sell flowers on the streets. Our flower sellers are not something you look at and enjoy. Our flower sellers are a real tragedy. The tragedy of displacement, poverty, social destruction, child abusing, child prostitution …. The latest victim is Fatima, the flower seller in Saida. Fatima was 11 years old when she passed away. She died in a car accident. Fatima was forced to leave her home in Syria. She dropped her dreams at the door step of her house in Syria looking for safety in Lebanon. War, poverty, abuse ….. threw Fatima on the streets of Saida to sell flowers to support her mother, her stepfather and her siblings. Fatima was forced to leave school to sell flowers. She was killed in a car accident.

There are hundreds of Fatima in the streets of Lebanese cities. We heard hundreds of similar stories, yet nothing was done or changed. The tragedy of Fatima and other kids should have pulled all Lebanese together to save these kids. Don’t, you Lebanese, brag around that the Lebanese family ties and our society is better than those in the west? Do you know what will the western population do if they see an 11 years old kid selling flowers on the streets?

Isn’t it about time to stop your hypocrisy and your fake faces and do something?

Follow Up: Human Rights defenders on trial for denouncing torture in Lebanon

CLDH representatives on trial

The first public court session of CLDH representatives Marie Daunay and Wadih Al-Asmar was held Yesterday in front of Judge Elias Khoury (Publication Court of Baabda) in the presence of NGOs,  the European Union, embassies and United Nations representatives, showing their support to the two human rights defenders sued for denouncing allegations of torture in Lebanon.

The session was a questionning by the Court and the lawyers of the two human rights defenders who face up to one year in jail and a fine in case they are convicted for defamation. Both insisted on the role of human rights NGOs to denounce human rights violations whenever they get credible allegations, and on the risk of such a lawsuit for the human rights NGOs’ work. The next court session is scheduled on June 11, 2015.

In 2011, CLDH published, in partnership with other NGOs a comprehensive report on torture in Lebanon, based on testimonies and first-hand information, denouncing the practice of torture by various security services and non-state actors.

Short after the report’s publication, two of CLDH board members, namely Marie Daunay and Wadih Al-Asmar, were summoned by the police for investigation. They were explained that Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri (who is also the head of the Lebanese Parliament) had filed a complaint against them because the said report mentioned allegations of torture perpetrated by Amal members.

The police said Amal considered the denunciation of these allegations as an incitation to sectarian strife, an infringement to the country’s unity, defamation and false accusation.

Instead of investigating the allegations of torture, the head of the Parliament preferred to have the human rights defenders investigated and sued.

The case was then referred to Prosecutor Claude Karam, who transmitted it to investigating judge Jean Fernaini. On several occasions, Marie Daunay and Wadih Al-Asmar were heard by Judge Fernaini who finally issued an indictment accusing them of defamation and transferred the case to the Court of Publication.

Since its inception in Beirut in 2006 CLDH has been systematically documenting and denouncing the practice of torture in Lebanon. CLDH strongly believe that the practice of torture is unacceptable, whatever the reason is, and whoever the perpetrators are.

CLDH would like to express its gratefulness to the persons who attended the session and/or expressed their support to CLDH.

LBCI Coverage : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk8JBq4Y3Gw

AL-AKHBAR : http://al-akhbar.com/node/228542

L’orient Le jour : http://www.lorientlejour.com/article/916302/deux-militants-des-droits-de-lhomme-devant-le-tribunal-des-imprimes.html

http://www.lorientlejour.com/article/916300/ibrahim-najjar-la-diffamation-est-susceptible-de-sanctions-independamment-de-sa-veracite.html