The U.S. handed over suspected ISIS detainees in northern Syria to Lebanese Military Intelligence on Thursday, putting them at risk for torture in their home countries, Human Rights Watch warned. The organization reports that more than eight Lebanese detainees were being held by Syrian allies when they were put in U.S. custody for over a month “without any communication with their families or judicial authorities.” American military intelligence then returned them to Lebanon, even though the country has a history of torturing detainees. “The US should create a transparent process with strong safeguards to ensure that no ISIS suspect is transferred to a country where they are at risk of torture or an unfair trial,” said Nadim Houry of Human Rights Watch. The organization claims that the U.S. returned the men to their home countries against the principles of the United Nations Convention against Torture, which prohibits the transfer of detainees if they “would be in danger of being tortured or would otherwise face mistreatment.” Syrian allies are currently holding nearly 600 ISIS suspects, and the Department of Defense has reportedly started the process of returning the suspects to their countries of origin.
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