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In Lebanon … a legal memorandum permitting “kidnapping” for a period of 24 hours!

Media reports revealed that the Director General of the Internal Security Forces in Lebanon issued, during the home quarantine period last November, a warrant requiring the administrative detention of any citizen for a period of 24 hours simply for suspicion without referring to the judiciary and without the detainee having guarantees, based on Law No. 17 issued in 1990. Related to the organization of the Internal Security Forces, a matter that angered a number of judges and lawyers …

Lawyer Hassan Bazzi, and in a press interview, said, “We were surprised by the leakage of a warrant issued by the Director General of the Internal Security Forces in Lebanon during the general closure, under the number 392/2020, and the memorandum gives the security services the authority to arrest any suspect according to their conviction for a period of 24 hours, without the need to inform The judiciary or any judicial authority, and without the arrested person having guarantees, meaning that the detainee is hidden for 24 hours without knowing who arrested him and where he is detained and without looking at his health condition ..

Regarding the legality of this memorandum, Bazzi said, “The Code of Criminal Procedure was issued after Law 17/90 related to the organization of the Internal Security Forces, and therefore the provisions of the subsequent law are the most effective application, then in 2020 and only about a month ago, Article 47 of the Code of Procedure for Procedure was amended. This article stipulates a set of guarantees for the defendant, first of all his right to have a lawyer present and the right of the lawyer to participate in the interrogation and ask questions, and the defendant’s right to present him to a doctor and contact one of his relatives, and the investigation must be videotaped to ensure that he is not subjected to moral or physical intimidation. 

And he considered that “this arrest is tantamount to kidnapping, in violation of international treaties signed by Lebanon and in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure, especially Article 47, the newly amended Law No. 191/2020, and this is a national disaster and scandal that must be dealt with at the highest levels before all bodies of the international human rights community and the judiciary.” The specialist “…

Bazzi concluded by saying that, as a group of lawyers, “we are waiting for the Public Prosecution Office of Discrimination, the Supreme Judicial Council and the Bar Association to take the necessary measures. We are now conducting a legal study about our status as citizens. Do we have the right to appeal the warrant to a judicial authority or not? In the coming hours the result will appear, and I think we are heading towards two tracks The first is to review the State Council to request the decision to be annulled, and the second track is to review international human rights organizations because this affects Lebanon’s prestige.

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