Urgent Interventions

Promptly investigate torture and arbitrary detention allegations in the case of Mr. Tarek Rabaa.

Beirut, Geneva, Paris, Lyon - November 8, 2011

Lebanon: Promptly investigate torture andarbitrary detention allegations in thecase of Mr. Tarek Rabaa.

The undersigned organizations demand animmediate, independent and thorough investigation into the alleged torture andarbitrary detention of Mr. Tarek Rabaa in Lebanon. Furthermore the undersignedorganizations call on the Lebanese authorities for his immediate release, ifhis confession proves to have been forcibly extracted under torture.

Tarek Rabaa, a 41-years old Lebanese citizen, working as engineerat Alfa Telecom Company, was summoned to the Ministry of Defense forinvestigation on 12 July 2010. There, he was asked about a French phone number hereceived a call from, on his Lebanese mobile, while he was attending a trainingsession in France in 2007. The Lebanese army intelligence suspected that thisnumber belonged to a Mossad agent. It was later established by his lawyer thatthis number is in fact related to a transportation company that was dealing inFrance with the group of Lebanese trainees from the Alfa Telecom Company. Mr.Rabaa answered the questions posed to him by the Lebanese army intelligence.

Right after that, Mr. Rabaa was reportedlyhandcuffed and forcibly undressed. During his detention at the Ministry ofDefense detention center he was allegedly tortured with electric shocks, additionallyhe was left standing during 20 days and slapped very severely on his ears. He wasallowed to see his sister - acting as his lawyer- at first only 32 days afterhis arrest. According to available information, he was subjected to torture andill-treatment for 108 days at the Ministry of Defense detention center - beforebeing transferred to Roumieh prison, where he is still detained.

During the investigation, Mr. Rabaa refused tosign most of the documents presented to him by the Lebanese army intelligence,but his full name (not his signature) was handwritten at the bottom of thepages and then presented to the military justice as his “confession”. On thebasis of the above mentioned documents the military justice issued an arrestwarrant on 28 July 2010, 16 days after the arrest. He was charged withcollaboration with Israel under articles 274, 275 and 278 of the Lebanesecriminal code.

His trial in front of the military court beganon 7 February 2011 (at this session Mr. Rabaa lost consciousness and had to betaken to hospital).

His defense presented all the proofs of hisinnocence to the military justice and on 27 June 2011 a forensic doctor providedthe military justice with a medical certificate that proves he was subjected totorture, but the military justice refused to consider it. The next session isscheduled on 12 December 2011.

If proven, the above mentioned allegationsrepresent serious violations of the Lebanese criminal procedure code[1] and ofLebanon’s international commitments[2]. In thiscase the undersigned organizations would consider that Mr. Rabaa is a victim oftorture and arbitrary detention and should be immediately released, and theperpetrators should be held accountable and brought to justice. Victims oftorture must be ensured the right to an effective remedy for the psychologicaland physical pain inflicted to them, as well as the right to reparation with compensation andrehabilitation.

The undersigned organization would also like toreiterate that the Military Court constitute a serious breach to fair trials aslaid in International Standards and to the integrity of the judicial system.Thus, they should have no jurisdiction over civilians.


- LebaneseCenter for Human Rights (CLDH)

- AlKarama for Human Rights

- WorldOrganization Against Torture (OMCT)

- ALEF- Act for human rights

- InternationalFederation of Human Rights (FIDH)

- WorkingTogether for Human Rights (AEDH)

- Actionby Christians Against Torture (ACAT – France)

[1] The Lebanese criminalprocedure code notably provides a maximum delay of 48 hours for custodydetention, the right for the suspect to remain silent and the cancellation ofany confession extracted under torture.

[2] Lebanon is a state partyto the International covenant on civil and political rights that notablyprovides the rules for a fair trial and to the Convention against torture andother cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments that strictly prohibits torture.