Lebanon: Release of Mr. Ghassan Abdullah

Urgent Appeal

New information
LBN 001 / 0518 / OBS 063.1

May 16, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Lebanon.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release of Mr. Ghassan Abdullah, General Director of the Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO).

According to the information received, on May 16, 2018, Mr. Ghassan Abdullah was released from Ministry of Defense’s premises in Yarzeh, southeast of Beirut, after 48 hours in detention (see background information below).

Mr. Ghassan Abdullah was allegedly questioned about two trips he undertook to Palestine in 2013.

The Observatory welcomes Mr. Abdullah’s release, despite 48 hours of arbitrary detention which threatened to seriously endanger Mr. Abdullah’s precarious health condition. The Observatory further urges the Lebanese authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment and intimidation against him, as they only aim at silencing his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

Background information:

On the morning of May 14, 2018, Mr. Ghassan Abdullah presented himself to the Lebanese General Security after being summoned for “security investigation”. Since then, he has only been allowed to contact his mother once in order to ask her to get him his medicine, which he has received through the NGO Caritas.

The next day, on May 15, 2018 Mr. Ghassan Abdullah was transferred to the Ministry of Defense’s premises in Yarzeh, southeast of Beirut.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Lebanon, urging them to:

i. Ensure Mr. Ghassan Abdullah’s physical and psychological integrity;

ii. Put an end to all forms of harassment and intimidation against Mr. Ghassan Abdullah and all human rights defenders in Lebanon;

iii. Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles 1, 5(b), and 12.2;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international human rights instruments ratified by Lebanon.


·Mr. Saad Hariri, Prime Minister, Grand Serail, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: + 961 (0)1-983060
·Mr. Salim Jreissati, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, Adlieh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-612564
·Mr. Nouhad Machnouk, Minister of Interior, Ministry of Interior, Sanayeh, Beirut, Lebanon. Fax: +961 (0)1-751622
·Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in Geneva, rue de Moillebeau 58, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail: mission.lebanon@ties.itu.int, Fax : +41 22 791 85 80
Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations in New York, 866 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. E-mail : contact@lebanonun.org, Telephone: +1 (212) 355-5460
Fax: +1 (212) 838-2819.
·Embassy of Lebanon in Brussels, rue G. Stocq, 2 1050 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: ambassade.liban@brutele.be, Fax: +32 2.645.77.69

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Lebanon in your respective countries.

Paris-Geneva, May 16, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
• Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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