Khiam detention Center -
Israeli Detention Center

Activity Period

الخيام، النبطية

The Khiam Detention Center, located near Khiam, Lebanon, was a French army barracks complex originally built in the 1930s. It became a base for the Lebanese army before falling under control of the South Lebanon Army (SLA), an Israeli-backed breakaway group of soldiers formed during the Lebanese civil war. In 1985 the base was converted into a prison camp and was used for torture and remained in use until Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, and the subsequent collapse of the SLA. After the withdrawal, the prison camp was preserved in the condition it was abandoned and converted into a museum by the Lebanese government. For nine years following the establishment of Khiam as a detention and interrogation center detainees were not permitted access to lawyers, independent medical attention, judges or to the ICRC. Between 1987 and 1995 they were not even allowed access to their families. The torture methods reportedly included electric shocks; suspension from poles, usually with only the toes touching the ground; beating, sometimes after the body is doused in water; and threats of rape of wives and female relatives. During the 2006 Lebanon War, the Israeli Air Force bombed and destroyed the museum, allegedly to hide the evidence of torture and mistreatment used there.