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Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr. Ghassan Abdullah


LBN 001 / 0518 / OBS 063

Arbitrary detention


May 16, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the followingsituation in Lebanon.

Brief descriptionof the information:

The Observatory has been informed byreliable sources about the arbitrary arrest and detention of Mr. GhassanAbdullah, General Director of the Palestinian HumanRights Organization (PHRO).

Accordingto the information received, on the morning of May 14, 2018, Mr. GhassanAbdullah presented himself to the Lebanese General Security after beingsummoned for “security investigation”. Since then, he has only been allowed to contact his mother once inorder to ask her to get him his medicine, which he has received through the NGOCaritas.

It has been reported that Mr. Ghassan Abdullah would have since beentransferred to the Ministry of Defense’s premises in Yarzeh, southeast ofBeirut.

The Observatory strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of Mr.Abdullah, which only aims at silencing his peaceful and legitimate human rightsactivities.

Moreover, the Observatory expresses particular concerns as the health ofMr. Abdullah is very fragile and he cannot tolerate any pressure or detention.As a consequence, his continued detention and any hindrance into his daily medicines for chronic diseases wouldpose a serious threat to his life.

The Observatory urges the Lebanese authorities to immediately andunconditionally release Mr. Ghassan Abdullah. In the meanwhile, the Observatoryurges the Lebanese authorities to take any step to ensure Mr. GhassanAbdullah’s physical and psychological integrity.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities inLebanon, urging them to:

i.Ensure Mr. GhassanAbdullah’s physical and psychological integrity;

ii. Immediately andunconditionally release Mr. Ghassan Abdullah as his detention is arbitrary andonly aims at silencing his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all forms of harassment against Mr. Ghassan Abdullah and all human rights defendersin Lebanon;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declarationon Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly onDecember 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles 1, 5(b), and 12.2;

v. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for humanrights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights and with international human rights instruments ratified byLebanon.


·Mr. Saad Hariri, Prime Minister, Grand Serail,Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: + 961 (0)1-983060

·Mr. Salim Jreissati, Minister of Justice, Ministry ofJustice, Adlieh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-612564

·Mr. Nouhad Machnouk, Minister of Interior, Ministryof Interior, Sanayeh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-751622

·Permanent Mission of Lebanonto the United Nations inGeneva, rue de Moillebeau 58, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail:,Fax : +41 22 791 85 80

·Embassy of Lebanon inBrussels, rue G. Stocq, 2 1050 Brussels, Belgium., Fax: +32 2.645.77.69

Please also write to the diplomaticrepresentations of Lebanon in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva, May 16, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 bythe World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call theemergency line:


Tel and fax OMCT + 41(0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

Tel and fax FIDH: +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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