Lebanese military finds Syrian deaths in custody ‘not a result of violence’

Tarek Ali Ahmad
Tarek Ali Ahmad - Al Arabiya English
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Local Lebanese media reported on Monday that forensic doctors found that the four Syrians who died in the custody of the Lebanese military a few days after their arrest did not die due to violence.

Human Rights Watch questioned the findings, as many questions remained unanswered, according to the organization.

“Leaking a short summary of the doctors’ report does not address Human Rights Watch findings that photos of the bodies showed marks consistent with torture,” said Nadim Houry, terrorism and counterterrorism terrorism director at Human Rights Watch.

“The Lebanese military should make public the full results of its investigation, and address allegations of torture and reports that a fifth Syrian, Toufic al Ghawi, also died in custody.”

The four Syrians were among hundreds arrested during a military raid in the border town of Arsal. Lebanese soldiers stormed two refugee camps earlier this month near the town, but were met with a string of suicide attacks and grenades.

“An internationally renowned doctor with expertise in documenting torture reviewed photos of these detainees for Human Rights Watch and concluded that the bodies bore injuries consistent with physical torture, and that any claim they died of natural causes would be inconsistent with the photos of the bodies,” HRW researcher Bassam Khawaja told Al Arabiya English.

“Releasing a summary statement is not going to make this go away. The Lebanese people and families of the victims deserve to know the full story of what happened here.” he added.

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