Plain-clothes security members arrest protesters during clashes in Beirut, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Five years after civil society activists and MP Ghassan Moukheiber first drafted a strengthened anti-torture law, the final watered-down legislation published Thursday was met with disappointment from those who helped craft the original draft.In its original form, Article 401 establishes a limited definition of torture in Lebanon's legal texts but exempts cases of mental and psychological abuse.Both Jabbour and Ghali were among the original group consulting and contributing to the draft law.The 29-month-long presidential vacuum that ensued at the end of former President Michel Sleiman's tenure in May 2014 halted legislation from moving forward.Members of civil society had hoped the original rendition of Article 401, which maintained a limited definition of torture, exempting cases of mental and psychological abuse, would be replaced.Saadeddine Shatila, head of the Lebanese branch of the human rights group Al-Karama Foundation, expressed his frustrations with changes made from the draft.
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