The Khiam Detention Center, located near Khiam, Lebanon, was a former French barrack complex originally built in the 1930s. It became a base for the Lebanese army before falling under control of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) and in 1985 was converted into a prison camp. It remained in use for alleged torture of Lebanese civilians 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 Hezbollah.
The Israeli Air Force destroyed the prison during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
Israel has denied any involvement in Khiam, claiming to have delegated operation of the centre to the South Lebanon Army (SLA) as early as 1988.
Robert Fisk, the British journalist who has spent 25 years informing from Lebanon, said about this prison:
“The sadists of Khiam used to electrocute the penises of their prisoners and throw water over their bodies before plunging electrodes into their chests and kept them in pitch-black, solitary confinement for months. For many years, the Israelis even banned the Red Cross from visiting their foul prison. All the torturers fled across the border into Israel when the Israeli army retreated under fire from Lebanon almost seven years ago.”
- Transcription of an interview with a prisoner (BBC, December 4, 2000)
- Panoramic view at 360 degrees of the Khiam Prison in Lebanon before being destroyed in july 2006.