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Lebanon: 1) Does the South Lebanon Army maintain a detention centre in Khiam? 2) To which organization would most of the detainees in this centre be affiliated?

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 September 1989
Citation / Document Symbol LBN2135
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Lebanon: 1) Does the South Lebanon Army maintain a detention centre in Khiam? 2) To which organization would most of the detainees in this centre be affiliated?, 1 September 1989, LBN2135, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6acc428.html [accessed 25 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

1)       Yes.

2)             Mainly Shi'ite Lebanese.

The South Lebanon Army (SLA) is one of four militias with "effective" control of the southern region of Lebanon. [Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1988, p. 245.] The SLA operates in the southern security corridor, an eighty by twenty kilometre strip of land along the Israeli border. It is a predominantly Christian militia supported by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), but recruitment of Shi'a and Druze civilians found within the SLA territory was reported during the eighties, in an apparent effort to broaden the communal base of the militia. [Henry Degenhardt, ed, Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, (Essex: Longman, 1988), p. 213.]

The main detention centre of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) is located in Khiam. Amnesty International reports that "hundreds of people, mainly Lebanese Shi'a Muslims... have been arrested and detained without charge or trial." [ Amnesty International, Fear of Torture/ Legal Concern, Ai Index: MDE 18/02/87, 23 July 1987.] According to Amnesty International, as many as 200 detainees are held at any one time at the SLA's main detention facility at Khiam. [ Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1988, (London: Amnesty International Publications, 1988), p. 246.] Please see the attached Amnesty International documents for descriptions of the physical ill-treatment of detainees at this facility.

An editorial article written shortly after the abduction of Sheik Abdul Karim Obeid (a spiritual leader of Hezbollah) mentions the Khiam detention centre, and is also attached.

Attached:

-               Robert Fisk, "Western hostages are long way from freedom", The Ottawa Citizen, 3 August 1989.

-               Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1988, (London: Amnesty International Publications, 1988), and Report 1987.

-               Amnesty International, Fear of Torture/ Legal Concern, Ai Index: MDE 18/02/87, 23 July 1987.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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