The Lebanese authorities must conduct a full investigation into the death in custody of Nader al-Bayoumi, a 35-year-old man detained following armed clashes between the Lebanese army and fighters supporting the Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asseer in Sidon, south Lebanon, last month, said Amnesty International. In a new briefing published today the organization also detailed allegations of torture and mistreatment of others arrested - including a child.
Amnesty International has seen images of Nader al-Bayoumi’s body, which bore signs of horrific abuse. A forensic pathologist who reviewed the images concluded that the bruising on the body was consistent with assault and suggested internal haemorrhage was a possible cause of death.
“The obscurity surrounding al-Bayoumi’s death, whose body was handed over three days after his arrest, is unacceptable. An immediate, independent and transparent investigation into his case is crucial,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.
The organization has also collected testimonies of at least three detainees who described being tortured by the Lebanese army and intelligence. One, a 15-year-old boy, said he suffered electrocution and was beaten with a belt and a stick before being forced into signing a false confession.
“The reports of torture are highly disturbing; all detainees must be protected and granted access to a lawyer and any necessary medical care,” Philip Luther said.
Two other men, aged 22 and 23, were arrested at army checkpoints before being abused in custody. One told how he was beaten by soldiers and had a cigarette stubbed out on his lower back, before an officer stamped on his face. Later his head was also squeezed between a wall and metal cupboard.
After their torture, two of the detainees were forced to sign statements which they had not been allowed to read. None of the detainees was brought before a court, granted adequate legal representation or allowed to contact their family. All three were subsequently released.
Amnesty International documented allegations of torture following armed clashes between the Lebanese army and fighters supporting the Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asseer last month.
Information indicates that the death in custody of Nader al-Bayoumi, detained following armed clashes between the military and followers of Sunni Muslim cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asseer in the southern city of Sidon, resulted from torture. The Lebanese authorities must ensure that full, independent and impartial investigations are opened immediately into this death as well as into other allegations of torture and other ill-treatment. They must also take immediate steps to prevent any further acts of torture or other ill-treatment at detention facilities run by the Lebanese army.