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Lebanon: Investigate and Punish Army Attacks on Migrants
Date: 12/10/2012 - 09:09
Lebanon's judiciary should investigate and prosecute any army and intelligence officials responsible for the beating and serious abuse of at least 72 male migrant workers on the evening of October 7 in the Beirut neighborhood of Geitawi, Human Rights Watch said today. According to victims and other witnesses, those beaten include at least 45 Syrian, 20 Egyptians, and 7 Sudanese migrant workers.
Human Rights Watch met with 25 men, all migrants, who all said they were beaten severely. Almost all had severe bruises consistent with their statements. According to the men, uniformed members of the Lebanese army barged into the rooms where they lived and proceeded to viciously kick and beat them, before asking any questions. One man was picked up off the street while walking home. The soldiers, some reportedly wearing shirts labeled “Army Intelligence,” did not interrogate them about any specific incident or crime, but accused them of “harassing women.”
“By engaging in such a nasty and possibly xenophobic attack against migrants, these soldiers acted more like a gang than a national institution,” said Nadim Houry, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch.
All those Human Rights Watch interviewed said they had valid residency papers in Lebanon.
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