Investigations into politically sensitive murders in Lebanon flawed-HRW

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Flawed investigations and procedural violations in 4 politically sensitive murders spotlight how donor funding and coaching for Lebanon’s safety forces and judiciary have did not safe the rule of regulation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated.

In a report printed on Thursday, HRW stated its findings adopted examinations of preliminary probes by the Internal Security Forces (ISF) below public prosecution supervision of 4 murders over the previous two years. They have been prompted by allegations that politically related and highly effective teams have been accountable.

The victims have been Lokman Slim, a longtime critic of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, Joe Bejjani, a telecom employee and newbie navy photographer, Colonel Mounir bou Rjeily, a retired customs officer, and Antoine Dagher, the pinnacle of Byblos Bank’s anti-fraud and former head of its compliance unit.

“The unsolved murders and shoddy homicide investigations are a reminder of the dangerous weakness of Lebanon’s rule of law in the face of unaccountable elites and armed groups,” stated Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at HRW in the report.

“The security forces and judiciary, often generously funded and trained by donor countries, have the technical capacities to investigate murders, but have failed to identify any suspects in these sensitive cases or to follow obvious avenues of investigation.”

An Internal Security Forces supply advised Reuters the ISF have been finding out the report and weren’t instantly capable of remark.

HRW interviewed the family of these killed, legal professionals, journalists, legal regulation consultants and sources near the households in Lebanon as a part of its investigation into the 4 instances.HRW cited “a number of failures, gross negligence and procedural violations” after analyzing preliminary investigations.

Slim was killed on Feb. 2, 2021, Bejjani was shot useless on Dec. 1, 2020, bou Rjeily, who had been struck with a pointy object on his head, was discovered useless on Dec. 2, 2020 and

Dagher was stabbed to demise on June 4, 2020.

HRW known as on authorities to make sure that their homicide investigations are immediate, thorough and neutral.

Lawyers, members of the family and sources near the households of the victims described an absence of seriousness on the a part of the police, HRW stated.

In one instance of what it stated was flawed work, the group stated that in the Slim and Bejjani probes, movies and pictures it analysed confirmed a failure to safe the crime scene.

“The worldwide neighborhood has funnelled tens of millions of {dollars} to Lebanon’s safety businesses through the years, but it surely has clearly not reversed the prevailing tradition of impunity,” Majzoub stated.

“Donors ought to overview the help that they supply to make sure that they aren’t funding items engaged in the cover-up of sensitive murders and different human rights violations.”

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Samia Nakhoul and Nick Macfie)



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