Keyrouz, Smaha Tell Tales of Horror in Jail


Two newly freed senior officials of Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces gave hair-raising accounts of the physical and mental torture they were subjected to by the army's intelligence branch during four-month detention.

The tales of horror were narrated by LF chief of the students' branch Salman Smaha and Lawyer Elie Keyrouz, chief of the indoctrination department at a news conference arranged by a Lebanese human rights organization.

 "They tried to tear me apart. They tied my ankles in rope and pulled hard in opposite directions," Keyrouz said. "They beat me and slapped me and kept me blindfolded and chained for many days and nights."

 "I felt time came to a horrific standstill when I heard Elie screaming of agony," Smaha said. "I knew it was Elie because the voice came from the cell next to mine in the defense ministry."

 Smaha said he was, too, kept blindfolded and chained at a dungeon so humid that "we thought it is 500 percent high and I also was taken to confinement in a what looked like animal bars."

 Both Keyrouz and Smaha said they had to sign confessions they haven't given out of fear of crueller torture, asserting that the only question made time and again by the interrogators was about Toufic Hindi's contacts with the Israelis.

 Keyrouz and Smaha were released on bail a week ago. But they are committed to stand trial before a military tribunal on a charge withholding criminal information from the authorities, which is punishable by up to one year in prison