After years of political stalemate, Lebanon continues to suffer from recurrent human rights violations and a lack of political will to address issues such as the practice of torture or restrictions to freedom of speech.
In the context of the spill over from the Syrian conflict and the country’s unstable security situation, the authorities have subjected individuals – including refugees – suspected of terrorism to severe abuses. These include prolonged periods of incommunicado detention during which torture is routinely used to both punish the detainees and extract confessions to be used later as evidence.
Furthermore, as a result of Lebanon’s exceptional justice system, numerous individuals are subjected to unfair trials before the Judicial Council – a political body whose judges are appointed by the executive – or military tribunal, which is composed of military officers appointed by the minister of defence.
Lastly, in recent years, the authorities have judicially harassed citizens who have peacefully expressed their opinion, including on social media, particularly when they have expressed criticism of members of the government or the army. They risk prosecution under vaguely defined accusations of “libel” and “defamation”, and are also at risk or are being subjected to censorship.
Penal Code, 1943 (AR)
Military Justice Code, 1968 (AR)
Law Establishing a National Human Rights Institution including a National Preventive Mechanism, 2016 (AR)
Law No. 65 on Punishment of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 2017 (AR)