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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1995/SR.28
16 March 1995

Original: ENGLISH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-first session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 28th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva
on Thursday, 16 February 1995, at 7 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. MEJIA SOLIS (Nicaragua)
(Vice-Chairman)

later: Mr. BIN HITAM (Malaysia)
(Chairman)

CONTENTS

QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT, IN PARTICULAR:

(a) TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

/...


This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Committee at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.




In the absence of Mr. Bin Hitam (Malaysia), Mr. Mejia Solis, Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT, IN PARTICULAR:

(a) TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

/...

18. Mr. MAACHOU (Arab Lawyers Union) ...

/...

19. The Arab Organization for Human Rights had drawn attention to human rights violations, particularly in the Arab world, and on 5 November 1994 it had organized a seminar on the question in Beirut, at which participants had heard some firsthand and moving testimony. One example was the description given by a Lebanese wife and mother of the abduction of her husband by the Israeli army on 21 May 1994.

/...

21. Despite the indivisibility of various human rights and the obvious connection between growth, democracy and human rights, human beings everywhere were being subjected to treatment that constituted a flagrant violation of international human rights law. Legislation in certain countries provided for whipping, amputation and executions, often without a fair trial. Although the Arab world was no exception, it might be wondered how a country in the heart of the Arab world could apply to the occupied territories emergency legislation dating from the British mandate that authorized administrative detention without trial. By way of example, he cited one case referred to the Arab Organization for Human Rights and the Arab Lawyers Union, namely, that of a young Palestinian student from Nablus who had been tortured and was still - after nine months - being detained in Askalon prison.

/...

59. Mr. SAFA (Arab Organization for Human Rights) said that his organization had accorded special attention to the question of missing persons. The follow-up committee to support Lebanese detainees in detention camps in south Lebanon and Israel had obtained information on the situation and suffering of the 300 prisoners in the Al Khiyam camp and the 75 detainees in an Israeli prison where they were held in conditions contrary to international law. They had been kidnapped in Lebanese territory and had had unjust sentences imposed on them, in violation of articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The majority of detainees in the Al Khiyam camp were from the occupied territories and included girls, persons who had been wounded, old people and children, ranging in age from 14 to 65. There were also 20 soldiers from the Lebanese army and a number of workers and peasants who had refused to pay taxes or let their children serve in militias operating in the interests of Israel, in addition to persons from the national and Islamic Lebanese resistance.

60. Israel, as the occupying power in south Lebanon, supervised the Al Khiyam camp, Israeli intelligence controlled the camp administration and questioned and tortured detainees, using both physical and psychological methods. Detainees received no health care, their food was of poor quality and their families were not allowed to send them food or clothing. Israel had also prevented the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from entering the camp on fact-finding missions. A number of camp inmates had died, most recently in January 1995, but no attempt had been made to ascertain the causes of death, and many of the prisoners released by the Israelis had suffered permanent physical and psychological harm.

61. The Israeli prison had no parallel; it was a closed establishment, outside any legal framework, where the prisoners were never charged or tried or permitted to appoint lawyers, meet their families or make statements to any legal authority. They received no medical check-ups, were deprived of reading material and were released only to die.

62. The Commission had already called on the Government of Israel to facilitate access for ICRC's humanitarian mission to the prison camps in south Lebanon, but they had remained out of bounds. His organization hoped that the Commission would endeavour to secure the condemnation of the Israeli Government for holding Lebanese prisoners; a mandate for an international fact-finding mission to visit the Al Khiyam camp and to investigate prisoners' deaths; the release of sick persons, minors and girls; the opening of the camp to ICRC and consideration of the agreement announced in January 1995 allowing family visits; the release of prisoners whose sentences had been served; the release of Lebanese hostages in Israeli prisons and the placing of the Al Khiyam camp under international supervision.

/...

The meeting rose at 9.55 p.m.

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