Had the privilege of speaking to some brave people here in Lebanon about civilians who tried in military court, including Human Rights Watch deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa, Lama Fakih. I also wanted to mention Saaddedine Shatila from Alkarama, who was interrogated and sent to military court for shedding light on torture practices in Lebanon, as well as George Ghali from Alef, a local human rights organization in Beirut.
I hope that this article, published for Middle East Eye, is a reminder that while Lebanon is not a military state like Egypt, or an authoritarian theocracy like Saudi Arabia and Iran, it still is a country that deprives its people from some of the most basic human rights.
14 protestors during the garbage protests in 2015 will be on trial at military court on January 30. Will there be justice?
"It was the first time that I learned I could be treated this way," said Tamara, one of the #YouStink protestors facing trial before the courts on 30 January. "We were in a protest, what did we do? I had no idea that I could end up in front of a military court."
Another of the accused, Layal Siblani, a law student, is concerned for her well-being. She told Middle East Eye: "We get called into the court, wait seven hours without being able to speak or do anything."
She also stated that she and others were verbally abused and scolded when they spoke or raised any concerns. "I have to lie to work whenever I have to go to military court," Siblani says. "I worry that no law firm will want to hire me in the future knowing what may happen to me."
Read the full article here.