Syrian Refugees Tortured by Lebanese Security Forces, Amnesty Report Says

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A Syrian displaced woman stands at the entrance of her tent at a refugee camp, in Bar Elias, in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa valley, March.
A Syrian displaced woman stands at the entrance of her tent at a refugee camp, in Bar Elias, in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa valley, March.Credit: Hussein Malla,AP

Amnesty International said on Tuesday that Lebanese security forces have committed "shocking violations" against some Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Syrian refugees have been arbitrarily arrested on terrorism-related charges and tortured using techniques similar to those used in Syrian government jails, according to a new report by the group.

"In many cases refugees who escaped war, ruthless repression and widespread torture have found themselves arbitrarily detained ... where they face many of the same horrors employed in Syrian prisons," said Marie Forestier, a researcher on refugee and migrants rights at Amnesty International.

The report documents the cases of 26 Syrian refugees, including four children, detained in Lebanon on terrorism-related charges between 2014 and 2021. 

It added that maltreatment took place at the Ablah military intelligence centre in eastern Lebanon, the General Security office in Beirut or at the Ministry of Defense.

Some of the refugees interviewed by Amnesty said they were beaten by metal sticks, electric cables and plastic pipes.

Detainees also described being hung upside-down or forced into stress positions for prolonged periods of time.

"My back had open wounds that started becoming really bad... there were worms inside my wounds," Bassel, a former Syrian detainee, told Amnesty International 

Lebanese authorities have "utterly disregarded international human rights law," Amnesty said.

Lebanon is home to some 1 million Syrian refugees who have escaped the war-torn country since 2011. 

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