BEIRUT — A report published by Human Rights Watch on Thursday found multiple failures, gross negligence and procedural violations in the investigations of four murders in Lebanon, namely the murders of Lokman Slim, Joe Bejjani, Mounir Abou Rjeily and Antoine Dagher.
Here’s what we know:
• “Multiple failures, gross negligence and procedural violations in four politically sensitive murder investigations in the past two years reflect that generous donor funding and training to Lebanon’s security forces and judiciary have not resulted in the rule of law,” Human Rights Watch wrote in the report.
• Investigations into all four killings were conducted by the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch. No suspects or motives were identified in any of the four cases.
• Families of the victims and lawyers told HRW that investigators were not able to identify suspects even though the murders were committed near residential and densely inhabited areas, or in broad daylight. Bejjani’s killing was even filmed by a surveillance camera.
• HRW found procedural violations in preliminary investigations done by the Information Branch. Sources also said that investigators “reviewed the contents of some witnesses’ phones without their consent and returned electronic equipment and surveillance cameras to families with their data wiped,” which is illegal behavior under domestic law, according to the report.
• In Bejjani and Dagher’s cases, Information Branch officers gave the families a fake name, “Jad Daou,” also illegal under domestic law. Dagher’s family said that sensitive information shared with the investigators was omitted from the police report.