BEIRUT: Rami Aysha, a reporter for several major international publications, including Time magazine, was tortured during a nearly one month detention by Lebanese authorities, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday.
Aysha, who was arrested on Aug. 30 while reporting in Beirut’s southern suburbs and released on bail Sept. 27, recounted his ordeal to the Paris-based media watchdog.
“They took me to a nearby place where they put a pistol to my temple and asked me on which side I wanted the bullet,” he said. “Meanwhile, they laughed then yelled at me. They broke my camera on my head.”
He said that during his detention he was severely beaten repeatedly while handcuffed, causing bruises and broken ribs and deprived of food and sleep. In addition, he said his family was subjected to threats, with his brother being told he shouldn’t make a fuss about what had happened.
While his charges remain unclear, it appears that they relate to weapons-buying. Aysha denies any wrongdoing, saying he was doing his job reporting on arms trafficking.
“I will fight in court to prove my innocence,” he said.
In its press release issued Tuesday, RWB showed its support for the reporter.
“The organization demands that Lebanese authorities thoroughly investigate the mistreatment, punish those responsible, and withdraw all charges against Aysha,” it read.