LEBANON MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAY TO CLOSE KHIAM DETENTION CENTER
BEIRUT, LEBANON, October 28 (FUTURE NEWS) -Lebanon today marked what is being dubbed the World Day for the Closure of the Khiam detention center. A sit-in and hunger strike by relatives of Lebanese detained in the Israeli run jail in the occupied south was the latest bid to rally international support to their cause.
Report: Moussa Hussein Samhat is making one request to the world. He wants to know the fate of his 36 year old sister Najwa who along with her husband Ahmed Jaafar and her son Ahmed were detained by Israeli forces and their local militia allies in occupied south Lebanon. All he knows is what the International Committee of the Red Cross told him - they were taken to the Khiam detention center in occupied south Lebanon. Moussa was not the only one asking questions. More than 100 Lebanese protestors and human rights activists demonstrated outside the UN house in downtown Beirut demanding the release of detainees and the closure of Khiam.
(NS: Mohammed Safa, the head of Follow Up Committee for Detainees told
Future Television: "28 October is the International Day for closing down
Khiam. The reason is this camp is against all principles of human rights.
Same time today we have sit in front of UN, the same thing is happening
around the world in Canada, Washington, France, New York, Japan, Palestine,
Mothers of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails went on a hunger strike for six hours to protest their continuing detention. Some 160 are held - many of them women, children and the elderly. And the follow up committee handed the UN a memorandum addressed to the Secretary General of the world body Kofi Annan. The memorandum outlines the situation of the detainees and requests the world body to send an envoy to check the conditions at the detention center.
NS: Safa saying: "we hope that this time the UN listens to our voices the voices of the mothers children at least if they cannot close the center then what is strange for 14 years the UN did not send anyone into Khiam)
Khiam was established in 1985. 10 years later, Israel granted the International Committee of the Red Cross access to visit Khiam. But the organization is not allowed to report its findings.
(NS: UN spokesman in Lebanon, Najib Friji told Future Television: UN
cooperation with Human Rights organization have been fruitful and continuous.
This case the committee always demonstrates their point of view to Annan.
Conveyed to Secretary General their demands it does not mean that we have
done everything human rights culture is a long process)
None of the detainees have access to lawyers. They are held without trial or charge, some of them for more than 15 years. They are held either because they refuse to cooperate with Israeli forces and their local allies or they are suspected of collaborating with the Lebanese resistance or army. According to the follow up committee for the support of detainees, 14 prisoners have died in detention. Maltreatment and torture have been documented by groups like Amnesty International.
Israel for years has maintained that the prison is administered by its local militia allies in south Lebanon. But not too long ago, it made an unprecedented admission. It said its security services interrogates, instructs and cooperates with its local militia allies in running Khiam. Despite this it continues to ignore calls by human rights groups to end abuses there. Zeina Khodr. Future Television. Beirut.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS ISRAEL SHOULD END TORTURE PRACTISES IN KHIAM
BEIRUT, LEBANON, October 28 (FUTURE NEWS) -The US-based Human Rights
Watch group today called on Israel to respect international humanitarian
law in occupied southern Lebanon and immediately end torture practices
in Khyam. The group said Israel is responsible for Khyam. The director
of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch,
Hanny Megally, said Khyam operates entirely outside the law, adding the
international community should no longer accept that Israel has nothing
to do with the prison. The organization said Israel bears responsibility
for its own actions and the actions of its allied militia that affect civilians
under international humanitarian law.