Members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which includes the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), took oath before his Excellency the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun today on 16 July 2019, as follows:
“I swear by Almighty God to carry out my duties in the National Human Rights Commission with all integrity, faithfulness and independence and act, in all that I do, in a trustworthy manner and always seek rightfulness and protect and promote human rights. “
Aoun asked NHRC members to carry out their duties impartially and objectively and not to be affected by any foreign meddling in preservation of Lebanon’s reputation.
In accordance with Law No. 62 of October 27, 2016, the National Human Rights Commission, which includes the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, was established in reference to Presidential Decree No. 3267 dated 19 June 2018, and the Presidential Decree No. 5147 dated 5 July 2019.
It includes 10 members: Judge Khalil Abou Rjeily. Prof. Fadl Daher, Mr. Bassam Kantar, Ms. Rida Azar, Dr. Fadi Gerges, Dr. Rana Al-Jamal, Mr. Raymond Medlej, Dr. Bilal Sablouh, Dr. Josyan Madi Skaff, and Mr. Ali Youssef.
The NHRC protects and promotes human rights in Lebanon in accordance with the standards laid down in the Lebanese Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as International Human Rights Conventions and Treaties and Lebanese laws consistent with these standards. The NHRC shall carry out special functions set out in the present law and may, for this purpose, communicate independently with international and local human rights bodies.
In particular, the NHRC is vested with the following duties:
Monitor the extent of Lebanon’s compliance with Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and draft and publish special or periodic reports thereon.
Contribute independently to drafting reports that shall be submitted by the Lebanese State
Offer feedback and consultation upon the request of competent authorities or on its own initiative in regard of respecting and observing human rights standards.
Receive claims and complaints of human rights violations and contribute to handling these claims through negotiations and mediation or through prosecution
Contribute to disseminating the culture of human rights and push for the implementation and development of educational programs on human rights.
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), works within the NHRC on protecting the rights of persons who are detained and deprived of their liberties pursuant to the provisions of the present law and in accordance with Lebanon’s obligations under the OPCAT – Optional Protocol to the “Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (hereinafter referred to as “Convention against torture”)
As defined by the OPCAT, CPT carries out the function of a national preventive mechanism (NPM) aimed to protect the rights of persons who are detained and deprived of their liberties. The NPM enjoys the independent legal capacity to act in matters related to torture and prevention thereof.
Both NHRC and CPT each in its own field sets down a unified report including their annual program, achievements, and challenges. NHRC shall submit the unified report to the office of the President, the office of Head of Parliament, the office of the Prime Minister and the office of Head of the Supreme Council of Justice. The report shall be published in the Official Gazette and may be discussed by the Parliament.
The report shall not mention any personal information or details that could reveal the identity of victims or witnesses without their consent.