Torture and abuse were widely practiced by Lebanese security forces in 2014, a U.S. State Department report on global human rights released Thursday said.
The annual report said information obtained showed that Lebanese security forces “abused detainees and used torture to obtain confessions or encourage suspects to implicate other individuals.”
The report comes days after videos leaked showing security officer brutally beating Islamist inmates in Roumieh Prison in one of the largest scandals to hit the country this year.
Five officers suspected in the scandal have been arrested, and officials insist that their actions did not reflect the policies of security institutions.
But Thursday's report suggests otherwise.
The U.S. report asserted that torture occurred in certain police stations, the detention installations of the Defense Ministry, and in the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch facility.
The report referenced testimonies of former prisoners, detainees and reputable human rights groups.
“The methods of torture and abuse included continuous blindfolding, hanging detainees by wrists tied behind their backs, violent beatings, blows to the soles of the feet, electric shocks, sexual abuse, immersion in cold water, extended periods of sleep deprivation, being forced to stand for extended periods, threats of violence against relatives, and deprivation of clothing, food, and toilet facilities,” the report said.
Conditions in Lebanese prisons, in particular Roumieh, were life threatening, it added.
The Lebanese state continues to deny that security forces systematically abuse detainees, but acknowledge that violent acts “sometimes” occur during preliminary detention, the report said.