Lebanon: A 23-year-old Syrian Refugee Reappears After a Month of Disappearance by the Military Intelligence
On 22 September 2016, Mohamad Al Souki, a Syrian refugee arrested in late August in Sir El Danniyeh, north of Lebanon, by officers of the Military Intelligence for “not possessing a valid Lebanese residence permit”, reappeared after a month of disappearance. That day, upon information received by a former detainee, a notary public went to the premises of the military police at the Military Court in Beirut and received official confirmation by the authorities that Al Souki was held there. On 20 September 2016, Alkarama had sent his case to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).
On 22 September 2016, Alkarama submitted its report on Bahrain’s human rights situation to the Human Rights Council, in view of Bahrain’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which will be held in May 2017. In its report, Alkarama underscored the most serious human rights violations which continue to persist in the country, such as the use of torture, the recourse to arbitrary detention and the violations of fair trial rights. Alkarama’s report also points out the lack of implementation of several recommendations accepted by Bahrain during its second UPR in 2012.
On 26 September 2016, Hatem Al Darawsheh, a 19-year-old Jordanian high school student, will face trial before the State Security Court for his alleged “support to a terrorist organisation”, based on statements extracted under torture during his interrogation by officers of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID). Concerned over such abuses, Alkarama sent al Darawsheh’s case to Ben Emmerson, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (SRCT), asking him to urgently intervene with the Jordanian authorities to ask for Al Darawsheh’s release and drop all charges against him.
Sudan: Civil Society and UN Member States Cast Doubts On Real Commitment To Uphold Human Rights In The Country
On 21 September 2016, the final outcome of Sudan's Universal Periodic Review (UPR), that took place on 4 May 2016, was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). This consideration was the occasion for UN Member States and civil society organisations to raise their concerns over Sudan's human rights situation, in particular the State's failure to implement the majority of the recommendations accepted during the first cycle of the UPR in 2011.
Iraq: Enforced Disappearances of Three Displaced Persons Following Their Arrest at Checkpoints by State-sponsored Militias
Between May and June 2015, Ahmad Al Hajjar, Ahmad and Khalid Al Dulaimi disappeared after their arrest at checkpoints controlled by State-supported Hezbollah brigade. Displaced from their hometowns of Mosul and Ramadi, cities then under the Islamic State (IS)'s rule, they were suspected of being its "supporters" and brought to unknown locations. Concerned over their disappearance, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly sent their case to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), hoping that this treaty body − a committee of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) by its State parties − could help locate them.
FOCUS: UN Secretary General Denounces Reprisals Against Human Rights Defenders in Iraq, Sudan, Oman and the UAE
On 16 September 2016, United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-Moon's last report on reprisals against persons who have cooperated with the UN was presented to the Human Rights Council (HRC) and stressed "the absolute unacceptability of any act of intimidation or reprisal, no matter how seemingly subtle or explicit" and that "such acts, which run contrary to the principle of human dignity and violate numerous human rights, show complete contempt and disregard for the United Nations system as a whole." On 24 May 2016, Alkarama had provided the Secretary General with a report detailing reprisals taken by Arab States against human rights defenders.