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1 December 1989
Agenda item 37
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 1 December 1989 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the
Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to
On instructions from my Government and further to our previous letters concerning Israel's inhuman practices in southern Lebanon, I have the honour to inform you of the following:
1. On 27 November, the Israeli occupation forces and the militias of the so-called "South Lebanon Army" opened fire on prisoners at Al-Khayyam prison in the so-called "security zone", killing two Lebanese citizens and wounding five others. This happened because the inmates, who number over 400, had staged a hunger strike over the prison administration's refusal to improve sanitary conditions and food, prevent water from getting into the cells and end the torture and ill-treatment inflicted daily on the prisoners.
2. The Israeli occupation forces and the militias dependent on them are preventing representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International and other humanitarian organizations from gaining access to the place where the prisoners are being held to hear about their appalling situation and their harsh conditions of detention. In so doing, Israel is trying to conceal its inhuman practices and the torture and crimes it is committing inside these prison
3. Israel refuses to apply to these prisoners the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, claiming that the so-called "security zone" in not under its jurisdiction. Such claims are contradicted by the fact that Israeli forces are occupying the zone and support the militias operating in it by Israel's repented statements that it is not prepared to withdraw from the zone, its repeated attacks on the United Nations forces and the fact that these forces are being prevented from performing their mission of implementing Security Council resolution
4. Because these prisoners remain in prison for months and sometimes even years and because they are subjected to very harsh physical torture and psychological terror, by the time they are released some of them are physically and psychologically incapacitated.
The Government of Lebanon condemns these arbitrary practices, draws attention to their seriousness, points out that they violate the norms of international and humanitarian law and requests that representations be made to the Israeli Government to put an end to these human rights violations and to give an undertaking to apply the relevant international treaties and norms.
I should be grateful it you would have this letter distributed as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 37, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Chawki CHOUERI
Chargé d'affaires a.i.