On 18 January 2021, the UN Human Rights Council issued recommendations to Lebanon to improve its independent monitoring of places of detention and strengthen the legal framework for justice and reparation for victims. The IRCT and Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture call on the Lebanese Government to accept and urgently implement the recommendations, perpetrators can be sanctioned, and victims get the reparation they are entitled to.
Following detailed briefings from Restart Center, the UN Human Rights Council focused extensively on prevention of torture and reparations to victims. The Council crucially addressed the deplorable detention conditions by recommending that Lebanon reform its national preventive mechanisms so that it can provide effective and independent monitoring of places of detention. The Council also recommended that the national criminal law and policies are changed to ensure that torture is effectively criminalised and investigations of torture complaints are effective and independent.
“At Restart, we welcome these recommendations and believe that they provide an important roadmap for improving the fight against torture in Lebanon. Together with the IRCT, we look forward to advising and supporting the Government with these efforts”, said Suzanne Jabbour, Director at Restart.
“Some recommendations, in particular the reform of the national preventive mechanism, are urgent and we hope to start working on this immediately”
The recommendations were issued by the Universal Periodic Review (a mechanism where States review each other’s human rights record) where the State’s complete human rights record is examined. In March 2021, the new government will be reporting back to the UN Human Rights Council on how it intends to implement the recommendations.
“The IRCT has a long history of support to the fight against torture in Lebanon and we look forward to seeing the Government’s response to these recommendations and assessing how we can best contribute to a better situation for all torture victims in Lebanon”, said Asger Kjaerum, Advocacy Director at the IRCT.