Lebanese security forces tortured a homosexual Syrian refugee over the course of five days, according to a report released this week by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Initially arrested during a raid on his shared apartment in Jounieh, he claims he was held and tortured on suspicion of being gay.
The report says that the man identified as Shady was sexually violated, the soles of his feet were beaten repeatedly and that he was forced to sleep chained to a wall.
The report explains that the incident took place in February. HRW waited until Shadi was safely resettled in Europe before publishing the disturbing details.
Shadi claims one interrogator taunted him about coming to Lebanon and making the country "dirty." He said: "Neither our society nor God accepts this!"
Another officer reportedly said: "We don’t know how to get rid of you Syrian refugees…and now you bring us gay Syrians?"
Shadi was reportedly denied the use of a phone to call a friend or lawyer throughout the ordeal. After five days, and several transfers, he was released.
HRW corroborated Shadi's claims of physical torture with medical reports from after his release and two organizations that helped him following the incident. According to the medical reports, he had fluid in his ear and "swelling and bruises all over his body due to beatings."
Lebanon's Interior Ministry told HRW that it could not investigate the claims unless Shadi himself filed a complaint.
A United Nations report from 2014 said that torture is "pervasive" in Lebanon.
It is "routinely used by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigation, for securing confessions to be used in criminal proceedings and, in some cases for punishing acts that the victim is believed to have committed.”
Although homosexuality is not expressly illegal in Lebanon, the controversial Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code criminalizes "any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature." The law calls for a punishment of up to one year.
But as it does not clearly define what is contrary to the order of nature, it is left up to individual judges to determine on a case-by-case basis. Several judges have ruled that homosexual sex is not punishable under the law in recent years.
In October, Lebanon's parliament passed a law establishing a National Human Rights Institute, which will create a committee to investigate the use of torture. HRW called this a "positive step" for the country.
But, Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at HRW said things won't change until Lebanon "puts an end to the culture of impunity surrounding its security forces."
She stressed that Shadi's case is "far from an Isolated incident."
As for Shadi, he is thankful that he had organizations to help him after ordeal but expressed concern for others who may not be so lucky.
"What if another Syrian refugee is arrested and tortured but no one knows about his case to help?” he said.