London, 23 August – The son of a founder of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has accused the pro-Iranian militia of running torture and kidnapping operations in Dahya, a suburb or the capital, Beirut.
Claiming that the militia built a number of secret detention centers out of sight of the Lebanese government, Hussein Mazloum, also known as Hajj Wala, says that he was detained in one of these centers for nine months. He alleged that he was subjected to the “worst forms of torture and humiliation” during his time there.
Mazloum leaked photos showing what he asserted were entrances to the secret Hezbollah prisons. He maintains that the most important detention center is the central prison in Haret Hreik behind the Bahman hospital (Iranian Hospital). He also identified the Bir al-Abd prison that lies behind the Islamic Cooperation Center, as well as an investigation center near Qaim compound. However, the most frightening prison, according to Mazloum, is the Mujtaba compound, behind Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV channel headquarters.
Prisoners abducted by Hezbollah are held in a solitary confinement cell that is no wider than two meters, said Mazloum. He added that they are prevented from seeing sunlight for the duration of their detention period, and are subjected to various forms of physical and psychological torture.
Mazloum said he will take his case to the Lebanese judiciary system to seek justice against the pro-Iranian militia. His case already has a precedent, if he goes to court against Hezbollah — The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) published a report in 2011, that accused Hezbollah of running secret prisons inside Beirut. Hezbollah’s influence in the country is widely believed to have led to the case being neglected.
The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization based in Beirut. CLDH was created in 2006 by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily), which has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human rights violations. It also monitors the human rights situation in Lebanon, fights enforced disappearance, impunity, arbitrary detention and racism and rehabilitates the victims of torture. It collects, records and documents human rights abuses in reports and issues press releases. The Lebanese Center for Human Rights team on the ground supports initiatives aimed at determining the fate of all missing persons in Lebanon.