Lebanon has to criminalize torture! A call to the Lebanese Deputies

As weapproach the International Human Rights Day on December 10, our organizationsjoin efforts to call again upon the Lebanese authorities to criminalize thepractice of torture.

Lebanonratified the Convention against Torture in 2000 and reaffirmed its resolve tocombat torture when acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Convention againstTorture in 2008. However, the practice of torture still prevails.

Every year,hundreds of persons are tortured during the investigations or in detentionplaces, for various reasons, and their lives remain forever altered by thistraumatizing experience.

Curbingdown the practice of torture in Lebanon will never achieve results as long asthe perpetrators are not properly prosecuted and punished.

Right now,the Lebanese legislation does not include a comprehensive definition of thecrime of torture and fails to provide for appropriate punishment for those whocommit torture.

Ourorganizations call upon the Members of the Parliament in Lebanon to enact the draftlaw on torture criminalization that has been under study by the Law andAdministration Committee of the Parliament since December 2012 in a timelymanner. We call on them as well to complete this process in the mosttransparent way, especially if substantial changes are to be introduced to theinitial proposal.

Accordingto the Convention against Torture, the term “torture” means any act by whichsevere pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionallyinflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third personinformation or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person hascommitted or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing himor a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, whensuch pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with theconsent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in anofficial capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only form,inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

In additionto criminalizing torture in order to put an end to this inhumane practice, thelaw needs to reinforce the rule of law. Ceasing a culture of impunity amongstate institutions will allow human dignity to be upheld by duty bearers

Beirut, December2, 2013


- LebaneseCenter for Human Rights (CLDH),

- CentreNassim for the rehabilitation of victims of torture,

- ALEF –Act for Human Rights

- Justiceand Mercy Association (AJEM)

- AlkaramaFoundation

- RestartCenter for the rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture

- World Organization Against Torture(OMCT)

This press conference is part of the campaignentitled “Nothing can justify torture” conducted by the World OrganizationAgainst Torture (OMCT).

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