Lebanon: Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison on Basis of Confessions Obtained Under Torture

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On 30 July 2014, Alkarama wrote to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to bring to its attention the cases of Tarek Mostafa Marei and Abdel Karim Al Mustafa, two Lebanese citizens sentenced on 6 August 2013 to 15 years in prison after a trial marred with serious violations. This communication follows an urgent appeal sent to the Special Rapporteur on Torture in March 2011 requesting his intervention with the Lebanese authorities to ask that Marei's confession obtained under torture not be used in his judgment.

Arrested by military intelligence services in October 2008 without any warrant being presented to them and without being informed of the reasons for their respective arrests, Marei and Al Mustafa were held incommunicado for more than two months, during which time they were repeatedly tortured in view of obtaining their confessions of involvement in terrorist acts. Beaten, suspended above the ground with their hands and feet tied together, they successively suffered electric shocks and beatings with sticks on their whole body.

They then remained in detention without trial for more than four years before being transferred for trial before the Justice Council, the highest court of Lebanon, a special court responsible for matters relating to the country's security, criticized for its lack of independence from the Executive and their admission of evidence obtained after torture or ill-treatment, without any real evidence to support the allegations against them.

The injustice suffered by Marei and Al Mustafa cannot be ignored. From their respective arrests to their trial before a special court based on allegations obtained through torture and leaving no possibility of appeal, their detention is in total violation of Lebanon's international obligations relative to the freedom and security of the person and the right to a fair trial contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, Article 9 (2) (3), 14 (1) (3) (a) (c) (g)), constituting a case of arbitrary detention of category III.

Accordingly, Alkarama sent a letter to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for it to note these serious cases of arbitrary detention and urge the Lebanese authorities to release Marei and Al Mustafa immediately and compensate them in accordance with Article 9 (5) of the Covenant.

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News Source : Lebanon: Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison on Basis of Confessions Obtained Under Torture
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