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On Monday morning, I was stopped when I tried to enter Lebanon's secretive military court to observe the trial of 14 protesters arrested at one of the 2015 demonstrations against government corruption and the waste management crisis.Last week, Human Rights Watch released a report on the use of military courts to try civilians in Lebanon, in which we documented inherent due process deficiencies, the use of confessions extracted under torture, and allegations that Defense Ministry or Army officials have used the courts' broad jurisdiction to intimidate people or retaliate against critics or activists. Under international law, governments are prohibited from using military courts to try civilians when civilian courts can still function.That number is not public, but according to the Union for Protection of Juveniles in Lebanon, 355 children were tried before the military courts in 2016 alone.Lebanon should remove civilians and especially children from the military courts' jurisdiction.
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