The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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July 27, 2011

The Daily Star - Activist questionedfor second consecutive day - July 27, 2011

By Annie Slemrod

BEIRUT: Lebanon-based human rights activist Saadeddine Shatila was questioned by military judge Saqr Saqr Tuesday, in his second consecutive day of interrogation.
Shatila represents the Geneva based organization Alkarama (Dignity) in Lebanon, and has reported on a number of cases of human rights violations and cases involving torture in Lebanon for the past few years.
According to Nadim Houry, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher for Lebanon, Shatila was questioned Tuesday by Saqr and released in the evening. Houry said that Saqr was not permitted to have a lawyer with him during Monday’s seven-hour interrogation by the intelligence services, and this again was the case at the start of Tuesday. Later in the day, Houry said, Shatila’s lawyer was permitted to accompany him.
Media watchdog group Samir Kassir Eyes condemned the interrogation in a statement Tuesday.
Shatila told the group that Monday’s questioning revolved around his work documenting rights violations. “They insisted on finding out my sources,” Shatila said, according to the statement.
“Protecting the safety of the source is something that I have the right to do,” Shatila added.
Houry said that the decision about whether charges are pressed now lies in the hands of Saqr, but “the fear is clearly, that from the all the questions [Shatila] has been asked, that this an attempt to scare him off what he has been doing.”
“Over the last few years we had seen an increased openness to discuss issues of torture in Lebanon,” Houry said, “and this sends the wrong signal.”
A judicial source confirmed to The Daily Star that Shatila was questioned by the intelligence services and Saqr. The source said authorities believe Shatila’s reports to the United Nations about human rights violations in Lebanese prisons are false and harmful to Lebanon’s image.

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