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AMNESTY WANTS LEBANESE WOMEN PROTECTED FROM TORTURE
(FUTURE NEWS) -Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday urged protection against rape and torture for Lebanese women, particularly migrant workers and those accused of major political or criminal offences. "Women in pre-trial detention in Lebanon are routinely denied the protection of the law... Many have been coerced to confess guilt or testify against themselves," a statement by Amnesty said. "Amnesty International's recommendations to the Lebanese authorities include reform of the law to ensure protection of women migrant workers and independent investigations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment against women, (including) rape," it said. Amnesty also said women accused of major political offences, such as collaborating with Israel, were subjected to physical and psychological torture at the hands of security services. The statement said migrant workers were tortured by "employers and agents of the state who these women approach to complain about their ill-treatment at the hands of their employers or their employment agencies." It did not provide statistics on the number of women who were detained or subjected to torture in Lebanon -- which is home to thousands of domestic workers, mainly from Asia and Africa.
Amnesty report arabic
US Report arabic
Based on reports by Amnesty International, the International Federations of Human Rights, Lebanon's Human Rights associations inside and outside the country, Lebanese members of Parliament, Heads of Lebanon's national Churches, the main Lebanese opposition parties, exiled Lebanese leaders and associations around the world, Lebanese newspapers, student organizations from various political backgrounds, Lebanons Bar Association, the Medical and Engineers Unions, the permanent observers of our organization inside Lebanon, as well as the international news agencies such as AP, AFP and Reuters, the following facts have been confirmed:
On August 5th - 6th, and while the spiritual leader of the national Church of Lebanon, Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir was visiting areas in the Shuf mountain, to preach reconciliation and encourage the return of displaced people to their villages, and accompanying his celebration of religious services in those areas, thousands of young Lebanese from Christian and Druse background were waving Lebanese national flags and chanting for the withdrawal of the Syrian Army from Lebanon. In addition, leaflets calling for the cessation of the occupation of Lebanon by Syria and the liberation of political prisoners were distributed during the events. In parallel, and during the same week end, youth in the East Beirut areas were peacefully distributing flyers calling for the implementation of UN resolution 520 calling for the pull out of the Syrian forces.
From August 6th till this hour, units of the Lebanese state security forces, and from the Syrian intelligence services operating in Lebanon, waged a massive campaign of brutal arrests, beatings and transfer to detention centers in various locations, including in the Ministry of Defense overlooking Beirut.
Amnesty International alert issued on August 9th, wrote that "Scores of members of outlawed opposition parties, including students and teenagers, have been arrested by military intelligence over the last three days. All are said to be detained incommunicado, and they are at risk of torture and unfair trial. (See Amnesty International Full text enclosed)
Human Rights and news services have reported that more then 150 persons have been detained, including lawyers, engineers, doctors, journalists, university and college students, human rights activists, as well as political activists. Among the arrested and detained leaders, University Professor Dr Toufiq Hindi, spokesperson for the disbanded "Lebanese Forces Party", and Mr Nadim Lteif, General Coordinator of the "Lebanese Free Patriotic Current." The two leaders were arrested from their homes by security unites and transfered to a military detention center. It is to note that the arrests have particularly targeted the partisans of the two main opposition currents, the Lebanese Forces Party, whose leader former minister Dr Samir Geagea is in jail, and the Free Patriotic Current, whose leader, former Prime Minister Michel Aoun lives in exile in France. Members from other Political Parties, such as the National Liberal Party and independant activists were also rounded up. The arrests, included young men and women as well as teenagers. Reports confirmed beatings during the arrests and the transfer to detention centers.
Moreover, another massive crackdown was reported on Thursday August 8th, when Syrian intelligence units, in plain clothes stormed a peaceful demonstration by Lebanese youth which was protesting the mass arrests. The SS-like blitz was staged by the Syrian security and pro-Syrian militiamen under the eyes of the Lebanese security forces who did not intervene. Hundreds of young men and women were beaten and dragged in the streets of Beirut, faces and bodies bleeding. Hospitals in the capital were overflown by victims of this terror attack against peaceful civilians.
The tension remains high as military spokespersons threatened to unleash further violence against the civilians if they persist in expressing their rejection of the Syrian occupation and they resume criticism against the Pro-Syrian President of Lebanon, General Emile Lahoud. Colonel Jamil el-Sayyid, head of the Lebanese General Security, warned in public statements from further crackdown and oppression in defense of Syria's presence of Lebanon. Information received by the Lebanese opposition confirms that the various security agencies are preparing for wider scope arrests and transfer to detention centers. The information also confirms that torture has already been applied to detainee.
In the last 48 hours, and according to the French NGO Journalistes Sans Frontieres, as well as to independant sources, we have learned that more persons and journalists were arrested and beaten, news media have been threatened, and orders were given to pro-Syrian squads to terrorize the civilian population. According to underground sources, the paramilitary elements, unleached by the regime and the Syrians have already inflitrated and massively deployed in the following areas in central Lebanon: East Beirut, Matn, Kesrouan, Jbail, Baabda, Zghorta, Koura, Becharre, Aley, Chouf, Jezzine and Zahle.
By the time this report would have reached you, an undetermined number of civilians, particularly youth are in the hiding inside Lebanon. Their fate as well as the one of the hundreds of arrested persons is unknown.