Samir Geagea’s attorneys have complained to Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir that he is “subjected to ruthless, systematic, deliberate and devastating psychological torture in a narrow, airless and lightless underground dungeon” at the defense ministry in Yarze.
The complaint of the only civil warlord jailed in Lebanon, was carried to the head of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic church by a delegation of lawyers representing Geagea’s 150 defense attorneys. The text was published Friday by An Nahar. “Jailers handcuff him and blindfold him whenever he is taken out of his cell and in seven days a week he is allowed to talk to his relatives, lawyers and priests for no more than 60 minutes,” the letter said. “He is often shaken out of sleep to be randomly frisked in a degrading manner.”
The lawyers appealed to cardinal Sfeir to intervene on Geagea’s behalf to stop his merciless ordeal, “which stands as a gross violation of human rights, international conventions and the Lebanese constitution.”
The letter complained that Geagea is isolated from the world. “He is not allowed to read newspapers or magazine and his requests to a television set have all been turned down. He is allowed no incoming or outgoing mail.”
The patriarch had frequently complained in public about Geagea’s incarceration while all other Muslim and pro-Syrian militia commanders of the 1975-1990 civil war were left unmolested and many of them were even given cabinet posts. But the patriarchal pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
Beirut courts had passed four death sentences against Geagea since his arrest in 1994, when his Lebanese Forces militia that changed into political party after the civil war was outlawed. All the death verdicts were commuted to life imprisonment.
He has been convicted on four assassination counts although Geagea had denied the charges, stubbornly contending that his trial was politically motivated because he refused to join post-war governments like his Muslim adversaries.