Posted by: G-AZZI | February 18, 2011

Lebanese police exposed !

I was happy and shocked when I heard about the report on  Torture and Arbitrary Detention AR ( click on the link to download the full report)  published by CLDH, KAFA and COSV. Reading about the torture techniques used by all the institutions – no exception – from the military police, which is the champion of torture, to the Internal Security Forces, was shocking, but definitely not surprising.

I was quite happy to see that doors are finally opening, that people are looking into the matter and speaking about it, and that the civil society has become actively involved in the campaign against police brutality.

The report mostly focuses on political and security prisoners; physical violence, arbitrary detentions based on sexual orientation, and gender are briefly mentioned. They do, however, refer to Helem’s report on Lebanon’s legal situation and the police practices.

The report raised two important points:

1) Very few people will report police abuse or file a case against a policeman. This is something that we also noticed at Helem. Many gay men and lesbian women would rather not take any action for fear of being outed.

2) Lebanese people do not express a lot of sympathy towards people who are considered “criminals,” especially since they are not particularly aware of police practices. The report also mentions that 50% of judges will not take into consideration any claims of torture made by the defendants.

The good part is that this situation can change. The more we report and expose police practices, the more the public opinion will change, the more the police will realise that they can no longer act like barbarians and violate the Lebanese law (which forbids the use of violence) that they are supposed to protect.

I understand that it is hard for people to file a complaint against the police, especially since they may feel vulnerable after being exposed to such brutality. One good solution is reporting such cases to one of the human rights NGOs that will be more than willing to publicly stand up against the transgressions.

CLDH and KAFA pioneered this step; ALEF is now working on a report on police brutality, and so is Human Rights Watch (HRW). ALEF and HRW are working closely with Helem on documenting violence against LGBT people specifically.

Below is the contact information of these organisations:


Address : Dora, Mar Youssef street, Bakhos building, 1st floor
Rue Mar Youssef, Dora, Beirut Liban
Tel/Fax : +961 01 24 00 23
Email :


Address: Sin El Fil, Kahraba Str. St. Georges Center, 4th Floor
Tel: +961-1-482483
Fax: +961-1-486088
PO Box: 16-5848 Beirut, Lebanon

Human Rights Watch

Tel: +961-71-323484


Address: Sanayeh, 174 Spears street, Zico House, ground floor
Tel: +961-1-745092



  1. Good for Lebanon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: