Lebanon: Options for a National Preventive Mechanism
The APT was in Lebanon from 1 to 6 March in order to discuss with Lebanese stakeholders how best to facilitate the process of the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and the different institutional options in light of the Lebanese context. After ratifying the Optional Protocol in December 2008, Lebanon became the first state party of the Middle East and North Africa region. During this mission, the APT met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fawzi Salloukh, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Ibrahim Najjar, and with the security advisor to the Minister of Interior, Colonel Pierre Salem.
In these meetings, the APT congratulated the government of Lebanon for having undertaken the important step of ratifying the OPCAT. The interlocutors assured the APT of Lebanon's commitment to torture prevention and the implementation of the OPCAT. Issues discussed included practical ways forward for facilitating the implementation in Lebanon and the role of Lebanon in promoting the prevention of torture with other States in the region.
Lebanese and international NGOs gathered on 2 and 3 March in order to analyze different options for the implementation of the OPCAT. Key members of parliament attended sessions of the workshop to discuss the most effective method of implementation. One of the options discussed was the creation of a National Human Rights Institution integrating the mandate of the NPM. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre of Lebanon presented a corresponding draft law. The workshop participants formulated draft recommendations to the Lebanese government on the issue. Follow-up meetings took place the following week.