Tlass was arrested on 6 December 2012 in Tarshish, a small village 50 km east of Beirut, on accusations of having illegally entered Lebanon. He was interrogated by different branches of the Lebanese security services. Questioned in particular about the Free Syrian Army, Mr Tlass reports having been beaten on the head by his interrogators.
On 10 December 2012, he was brought before a military Prosecutor. Tlass told him that he was tortured but the prosecutor did not take any steps following his complaints. The defector was then brought to Roumieh Prison.
The military court of Beirut orders his expulsion to Syria
On 4 February 2013, Mr Tlass was brought before the military court of Beirut and sentenced to 2 months of imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Lebanese Pounds (66USD) for having illegally entered the country. The judge ordered his expulsion to Syria after this 2 month-sentence without any consideration for the risks he might face upon return.
After already two months of custody, Mr Tlass is therefore to be expelled to his homeland where he risks torture and execution for defection. During the trial, the victim's lawyer clearly explained all the risks that the plaintiff may face if he is expelled to Syria as well as the international obligations of the Lebanese authorities, particularly those falling under the article 3 of the Convention against Torture.
Following his sentence, Mr Tlass was brought to the headquarters of the police in Zahle where he is waiting for his transfer to the detention center of the General Security forces in charge of implementing the decisions of extradition.
Marie Daunay, Lebanese Center for Human Rights, (+961) 01 24 00 23 (English, French, Arabic)
Saadeddine Shatila, Alkarama, (+961) 01 65 31 50 (Arabic, English)