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Lebanon: lawyer Mohamad Sablouh faces threats and intimidation

26 April 2024


Mohamad Sablouh is a Lebanese lawyer who specialises in the defence of human rights. He has been involved in denouncing the unlawful deportation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Syria. Through his social networks, he has highlighted violations of Lebanese law and the Convention against Torture. The lawyer is facing increasing harassment because of his legal assistance to Syrian refugees.

Mr Sablouh works for the rights of Syrian refugees by documenting human rights violations committed against them. Since speaking out on social networks, he has faced several acts of intimidation.

In February 2024, his car was broken into twice near his home in Qubba (northern Lebanon).

Later that month, Mr Sablouh discussed the illegal expulsion of Syrians with the Head of National Security, Khattar Nasreddine, and the President of the Tripoli Bar Association, Sami Al Hassan. A helpline has since been set up to deal with these situations.

After the meeting, Mr Sablouh was notified of the existence of a serious case against him, which would be officially declared in the next few days. This case might be linked to the accusations made by the former Director of General Security, Abbas Ibrahim, who accused Mr Sablouh of having links with Zionism in 2021.

Mr Sablouh also met with the Director of General Security, Major General Elias Al-Bisari, to discuss violations of the Lebanese Code of Criminal Procedure relating to the deportation of Syrian refugees.

However, since his meeting in February 2024, Mohamad Sablouh has been receiving messages on WhatsApp from unknown senders, some of them requesting money. In April 2024, the lawyer filed a complaint against these anonymous senders, but to no avail so far.


The Observatory urges the Lebanese authorities to take all necessary measures to guarantee the free exercise of the legal profession by Mohamad Sablouh.

The Observatory recalls that according to article 9, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”

The Observatory reiterates the United Nations’ basic principles on the role of the Bar, in particular principle 17, which states that: “Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.”