Friday, February 26, 2010

Mobilization to Close the General Security Detention Center this Sunday

The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH Centre Libanais des Droits de l'Homme) is calling to demonstrate this Sunday, at noon, in front of the the General Security Retention (or detention?) center located in Adlieh (under a traffic bridge), Beirut, to close it down.

The GS detention facilities are used to detain migrants and foreigners, including migrant domestic workers. According to a recent press release by a host of Lebanese, regional and International human rights organizations:
Under existing practice, when a foreign detainee finishes serving his or her sentence, the Internal Security Forces, which manage the prisons, do not release the person but rather refer the case to General Security, regardless of whether the court has ruled that the person should be deported after the sentence ends. Many of these foreign detainees are then kept for months before they are either released or deported.
There are more reasons to contest the existence of the GS detention Center, in addition to arbitrary detention of migrants.

Yesterday, prior to the call for mobilization, I was informed by humanitarian workers who had access to those detention facilities, of the case of one migrant domestic worker who accused the son in law of her employee of having raped her. After the humanitarian workers' intervention, the migrant worker was taken out of her employee's house and ended up in the general security prisons - instead of a Caritas safe house! For no explainable reason, the preliminary investigation did not include a medical examination of the victim that would bring evidence of the rape. In courts, the biased Lebanese investigators and the judge turned the case around and accused the woman of lying and falsely accusing a Lebanese man of rape. She was sentenced to 10 years prison - after the humanitarian workers paid her bail bond and succeeded in flying her out of Lebanon to her country.

The General Security detention centers contribute to the plight of migrant domestic workers, and hold migrants in inhumane conditions. They should be closed down. We cannot wait until the announced and long awaited reform of the GS detention facilities (which can be achieved between 2011 and 2050).

The following is the call for mobilization issued by the CLDH.

CALL FOR A GENERAL MOBILIZATION to Close Down the General Security Retention Center - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at 12PM

Under the Adlieh bridge, hundreds of persons are detained underground in inhumane conditions with no natural light or ventilation.

The General Security maintains these persons illegally, including refugees, migrant domestics and workers who have already served their sentence, for indeterminate periods of time without any external control.

This practice constitutes a flagrant violation of human rights and must end immediately!

The Lebanese Center for Human Rights calls on human rights defenders and all citizens to express their indignation this Sunday February 28 at 12PM in front of the General Security Retention Center at the Adlieh round-about to demand:
· The immediate release of all persons arbitrarily detained.
· The closing down of the retention center.
· The review of the General Security’s prerogatives

Break the silence on illegal practices of the General Security!

Facebook event:

CLDH Facebook Group:

End Arbitration Detention! Facebook Group:

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