Amnesty International Briefing: Lebanon Torture Report

July 17, 2013

Amnesty International Briefing: Lebanon Torture Report

"They took me to an officer and there were two plain-clothed men standing behind me. The officer asked me questions like, 'Did you shoot? Did you fill up sandbags and carry them [for al-Asseer's armed supporters]?' Every time I said no, the man behind me would hit me with a stick. At one point, the other man held an electric wire and started scaring me with it, threatening to give me electric shocks with it.

"From here, I stopped knowing what time it was or if it was day or night. I would try to hear the azan [call to prayer] to try to figure out the time but I couldn't hear a thing; so I thought the mosques in Sidon had stopped calling for prayer.

"Then I was taken to the Ministry of Defence. While on my way in the vehicle, the Intelligence man asked me to open the window. I was handcuffed and was sitting uncomfortably so I raised my hands, but they came close to the door lock so he hit me hard on my head. It could not have been his hand… it was something really hard.

"At the Ministry of Defence, they asked the same questions. I said I didn't do anything. So a man came in and took me downstairs to a cell. There, he gave me electric shocks three or four times. I'm too embarrassed to tell you where.
[The boy's mother had told Amnesty International prior to interviewing her son that he was given electric shocks in the genitals.] I was also given an electric shock in the leg.

"At one point, they placed me in a big tank full of dirty water until it covered all of me. So I started moving my feet to avoid reaching the bottom and drowning. They kept me in there for maybe 10 seconds, and as they dragged me out of the water, my foot was stuck at the edge of the tank and it swelled very badly. Then they started hitting me with a water hose.

"I was staying with others in the cell; they were all older than me. One of them was taken and was returned to the cell unconscious. They threw him on the floor; he was chubby. He fell on my feet, I was in a lot of pain. Also one time, the jailer struck my chest with a rifle butt.

"They brought us sandwiches of canned meat – it was so old and disgusting I couldn't eat it. A jailer would come and ask me why I hadn't eaten it. I would say I'd do so after a bit. He would slap me on my face and tell me to eat it. I was so disgusted by it that I threw it in the toilet and flushed it.

"Also, the toilet flush was leaking on the floor and wet our mattresses. They were stinking so we told one of the jailers. He brought us a piece of cloth and told us to put it around the toilet to absorb the leaking. But the water continued to leak into the room.

"At the end, I was taken to a room with my shirt covering my face. When I arrived there, they removed the shirt off my face and asked me to sign a document. I wasn't allowed to read it but my eyes caught the words, 'sandbags' and 'al-Asseer'. So I refused to sign and I said: 'I didn't do this.' So they took me to another room, I was beaten up badly. There, I could hear the voice of another detainee repeating: 'Ah, I can't take it any more, ah, I can't take it any more.'

"Then my shirt was pulled up to cover my face and I was taken back to sign the document. The same man who asked me to sign the first time unlocked my handcuff, held my hand and wrote my name on the document… I was then released."

Second testimony

The second testimony is from a 22-year-old man who was arrested on 26 June 2013 at a Lebanese army checkpoint in 'Alman and held for one and a half hours. He said he was arrested when travelling to Sidon in a van that was clearly marked with the name of the company he works for and contained at least another five employees and the driver.

"It was around 18:30 and we were stuck in traffic as we were returning from the office in Bchamoun, so the driver took an alternative route which runs along another road near 'Alman.