News Item: Lebanon : The Lebanese government must fulfill its obligations to respect human rights and work to conduct transparent investigations with the military who assaulted the protesters before the House of
(Category: Violent violations of human rights)
Posted by Administrator
Friday 30 June 2017 - 07:15:48

During the Special Session of the Lebanese House of Representatives on 16 June 2017, a group of Lebanese activists moved to demonstrate peacefully near the Lebanese Parliament against the so-called extension of the term of the parliament without democratic elections demanding their right to democratic elections as guaranteed by the Lebanese Constitution.

In the light of these demonstrations, some Lebanese soldiers attacked the demonstrators severely beaten with batons, kicked and punched on the faces and the use of offensive words without discrimination against the demonstrators, men and women, in downtown Beirut near the parliament,a number of video clips were published on the social media sites showing the attacks clearly, while the Lebanese army leadership announced an urgent investigation into the incident without showing the results of the investigation to the public opinion or the local media.

Some security officials gave a justification for the attack on protesters, saying some protesters had thrown eggs and tomatoes at cars believed to be members of the Lebanese parliament.

The National News Agency published a statement by the "House Police" on 16 June that some of the demonstrators "tried to break into the security barrier and attack on the members of protection and one of them was disarmed by force and forced to land, forcing the members of the council to intervene to free him from their hands.

While the protesters confirmed to Human Rights Watch, which conducted a field investigation into the incident, they did not physically confront any members of the security forces, they were all unarmed, and Human Rights Watch did not see any credible reports that security personnel or the army were injured, where the demonstrators denied that they tried to cross the barrier or used violence against the security forces, and did not prove any videos posted to protest what was stated in the police statement of the parliament contrary to the facts.

Mrs. Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release published by the organization on its website "This is an opportunity for the military authorities to demonstrate their willingness to hold their members accountable for the illegal use of force, the military prosecution must announce the results of its investigations and hold accountable any responsible person, and the security services should make serious changes in the way they respond to the protests. "
Mrs. Fakih continued, "Unfortunately, this incident is only the latest example of confronting the protests in Lebanon with violence. If the demonstrators threw eggs or tomatoes, the security services could have prevented them peacefully, but it is unacceptable to hit people on the ground. "

The organization stressed in its report that the Lebanese constitution and international law protects freedom of assembly, however, Human Rights Watch and local human rights organizations documented the illegal use of force by security forces against demonstrators in Lebanon, on 22 and 23 August 2015, members of the Lebanese security forces used rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, water cannons, rifle butts and batons in a protest in central Beirut against the waste management and corruption crisis.

She added that impunity for violence by the security forces is a recurrent problem in Lebanon, even when officials began investigations into past incidents of extreme violence and causing death in some cases, against demonstrators, the investigations are not yet complete or publicly available. All information publicly available indicates that Lebanon has not sufficiently investigated the incidents in which security forces, including the military, used force against demonstrators, such as the violent dispersal of Palestinian demonstrators in northern Lebanon on June 29, 2007,which killed two Palestinians and wounded at least 28 people, and the violent dispersal of demonstrators in the impoverished neighborhood of Al-Salam in Beirut on 27 May 2004, killing five demonstrators and injuring dozens.
International network for human rights monitoring corroborates the information contained in the Human Rights Watch report and supports the demands of local human rights organizations to protect human rights in Lebanon which gradually deteriorates and joins all organizations to demand that the Lebanese government fulfill its obligations to respect human rights and work to conduct transparent and public investigations with the military who attacked the protesters in front of the House of Representatives, and to make serious promises and guarantees to prevent the recurrence of reprisals affecting the essence of human rights that Lebanon has pledged in all international forums and local forums to protect it.

The network hopes that the government of Lebanon and the Ministries of Defense and Interior in particular and the leaders of the security services to generalize to respect the rights of citizens and activating the accounting law because it is the only way to prevent the repetition of such acts that harm the reputation of Lebanon and the march of human rights and democracy in Lebanon.
Central Information Authority

International Monitoring Network
Norway 30/June 2017

This news item is from (IOV)
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