Alert: Torture survivors speak out in our new report on human rights abuses in Ethiopia
Israel/OPT
22.06.00
Urgent Interventions

'Israel/Lebanon: Khiam Detention Centre abandoned after withdrawal of Israeli Defence Forces

Lebanon: Khiam Detention Centre abandoned after withdrawal of Israeli Defence Forces

Case ISR 120400.1 VAW
Follow- up of case 120400 VAW
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The International Secretariat of OMCT has received new information on the following situation in Lebanon.

Brief reminder of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT was informed by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), a member of the OMCT network, of the deteriorating medical condition of Qozet Ibrahim, 25, a free-lance journalist, and Najwa Samhat, both detained in Khiam Detention Centre.

It was reported that Najwa Samhat had suffered a severe haemorrhage after having a miscarriage at the detention centre. The same reports added that Qozet Ibrahim suffered from a severe ulcer and that was constantly dependent on infusions in her cell because she kept vomiting everything she was eating. PCATI received information that they were both taken to hospital by Israeli forces and their allied SLA militiamen "after their health conditions deteriorated because of torture in the detention centre".

In light of reports describing harsh detention conditions in the Khiam Detention Centre and descriptions of systematic abuse and torture, PCATI expressed its grave concerns over those brutal means which had been used against those women and have led to the deterioration of their condition.

New information

The International Secretariat is pleased to announce that following the withdrawal from South Lebanon of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the demise of the South Lebanese Army (SLA), Khiam Detention Centre was abandoned by its wardens and all prisoners were released by the local population.

According to PCATI, the released prisoners include Qozet Ibrahim and Najwa Samhat.

Remarks

The International Secretariat of OMCT would like to thank all the members of the network and all other organisations and individuals for the action undertaken following this appeal. The Khiam Detention Centre was known for the terrible conditions in which the prisoners were kept and the torture they endured. The Lebanese government has announced its intention to turn the former detention center into a museum, to keep the memory of these excesses alive. For its part, PCATI is trying to collect as many affidavits and testimonies as possible from former prisoners of the Khiam Detention Centre, in order to push for the creation of a Commission of Inquiry that would establish the facts and clarify the responsibilities for what happened there.

Geneva, 22 June 2000
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