Friday, June 3, 2011

Anti-torture sit-in on June 26 and a fresh case of torture in the renowned Makhfar Hbeish

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported today that a man who had sent a package to Australia was tortured in Hbeish police station (Makhfar Hbeish, Hamra, Beirut) upon Australian report accusing him that the package contained drugs. A second Australian report cleared the man and said that there was a "technical" error in the testing done. Hbeish police station is renowned for torturing crime suspects. Many of which are later cleared from any wrong doing, such in the case, in 2010, of a Syrian falsely accused of robbing and selling a mobile phone. The mobile phone in question was sold by a Lebanese (the son of the Syrian's employer in Hamra) who managed to steal the Syrian's ID and use it when selling the phone (IDs are required by law for selling used mobile phones).

And in the Daily Star: Anti-torture sit-in planned to pressure government

BEIRUT: A Lebanese center for rehabilitating victims of torture announced Thursday a week of activities scheduled for later this month, including a sit-in to pressure the government to honor its commitments to prevent torture in the country’s prisons.

Mohammad Safa, the secretary-general of the Khiam Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture, made the announcement during a news conference at the Press Federation in Beirut.
“Just like every year, the Khiam Rehabilitation Center for the Victims of Torture will mark June 26, the U.N. International Day in support of Victims of Torture, under the international campaign organized by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture, and the U.N. and humanitarian organizations,” Safa said. The U.N. Convention against Torture entered into force on June 26, 1987.

Safa said that the international campaign would focus this year on poverty “because it is the path to torture, violence, killing, drugs, terrorism and all human rights violations.”

(...)

This year’s activities will culminate in a sit-in entitled “Poverty is Torture, Sectarianism is Torture, Discrimination is Torture,” to be held in Downtown Beirut near the Grand Serail at 11 a.m. on June 26.

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