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Former Torture Victim
Lebanon: Former torture victim released following threat of unfair trial; other trial ongoing
21 January 2011

Alkarama commends the release of Mr Hassan Kayed, a Palestinian living in Lebanon. Mr Kayed was released following a court decision acquitting him on 31 December 2010. However, he remains at risk of unfair trial in another court case.

Alkarama was informed of the re-arrest of Hassan Hussein Kayed, 34, in late 2010 following his release on bail on 4 November 2010. It was feared that he might undergo an unfair trial, as he had suffered torture and was forced to sign false confessions following his initial arrest on 29 June 2007. However, following this re-arrest, the civil court, taking into account his complaint of torture, acquitted Mr Kayed on 31 December 2010. This is in contrast to the treatment handed down by the military court which tried him on 5 December 2008: in complete disregard to binding international human rights standards, the military court condoned his torture and sentenced him to one and a half years imprisonment - a sentence which he has now completed. While Alkarama is highly critical of the fact that confessions extracted by torture were used to condemn him, and that a civilian should not have been tried by a military court, we commend the ! fact that the civil court took into account the allegations of torture made by Mr Kayed and acquitted him. Mr Kayed was then released.

Alkarama had already treated the case of Mr Kayed in 2009, after we learned that he had been arrested and suffered torture alongside hundreds of others following events at Nahr el Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon in 2007. During an interview by Alkarama in 2009, Mr Kayed reported that he had been severely tortured, including with the methods of "Farouj" and "Balanco". He was also severely beaten on the hands and legs by guards while handcuffed and blindfolded and forced to adopt stress positions. This case was included in our 2009 report "Torture in Lebanon: Time to Break the Pattern", available on our website [link to]).

At present, we are informed that Mr Kayed is on trial in another case before a civil court, and remain concerned that this trial may not meet international fair trial standards. We therefore call on the Lebanese authorities to ensure that Mr Kayed's trial be carried out in full conformity with international standards on the matter and that his treatment is consistent with internationally-recognised Minimum Standards Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Furthermore, we call on the Lebanese authorities to bring an end to the use of ill-treatment and torture of detainees, investigate all such allegations, prosecute those responsible, and compensate victims of such acts.

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