Who Is She

Personal information

Chief executive Officer
Suzanne Jabbour

What I have done for Lebanon

I have been a Mental health professional for all my life working closely with victims of torture and war trauma inside prisons and in the community, but being at the heart of the UN treaty body has heartened my efforts on the advocacy level and enabled me to learn and share best practices from around the world.

I have used this to assist my country in improving detention conditions, upgrade the skills of professionals and law enforcement personnel to enhance existing practices and support the Lebanese authorities in the creation of a legal framework in line with Lebanon’s international commitments to eradicate torture.

I have also Designed and established a Pilot Torture preventive mechanism in police custody utilizing an Independent Forensic & Psychological Examination Unit to conduct screening for torture and ill treatment of all persons under investigation at the Tripoli Justice Palace.



Contact information / Private

Contact information / Work

Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence
Dam and Farez street, Residence 5 Bldg, 2nd floor, Tripoli, Lebanon Landline:
412296 6 961 &385358 1 961
410577 6 961


  • Master's degree, Clinical Psychology, Holy Spirit University in Kaslik, Lebanon.

Areas of expertise

  • Torture and Ill treatment
  • Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence
  • Human rights instruments and conventions related to persons deprived of their liberty.
  • Mental health
  • Managing Social Welfare Institutions
  • Capacity Building of NGOs and Government Personnel
  • Lobbying and Advocacy
  • Children with Special Needs and Cognitive Impairment
  • Learning difficulties
  • Arabic
  • French
  • English

Work history

  • Chief Executive officer of Restart center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture since 2005
  • Key expert in the MENA region in lobbying and training on the United Nations Convention against torture, the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the Istanbul Protocol and the Mandela rules as well as the Bangkok rules.
  • Clinical psychologist in direct contact with torture survivors, refugees and prisoners.
  • Trainer of tailored programs on Prisons Management, Human Rights Instruments and conventions related to persons deprived of their liberty provided to the Lebanese Internal and General Security Forces and Lebanese army.
  • Trainer on the Istanbul protocol, Code of Ethics and Dual loyalty for forensic doctors, affiliated to the Lebanese Ministry of Justice.
  • Trainer on thematic focused programs for the Judicial Police in Lebanon on how to investigate with women and children in conflict with the law 




Honorary office and memberships

  • Reelected Member of the United Nations Subcommittee on prevention of torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) from 2019-2022 in Geneva
  • Member and Vice president of the United Nations Subcommittee on prevention of torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) from 2010 till 2016 in Geneva International expert in Monitoring Places of detention worldwide and the promotion of the UNOPCAT
  • Conducted numerous monitoring visits to state parties to the OPCAT with the UNSPT, including Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, MENA since 2010. The visits include unrestricted access to all places where persons may be deprived of their liberty, their installations and facilities and to all relevant information.
  • Produced “visit reports” subsequent to each visit conducted by the UNSPT to a state party
  • Advised and provided assistance to states Parties on the establishment of the National Preventive Mechanisms.
  • President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) Copenhagen, Denmark from 2012 – 2016.


Publications highlights: 
  • Analytical and legal study on the role of the Lebanese ISF anti-torture committee”, Community Security and Access to Justice, UNDP. 2018
  • Green paper on “The selection process for the appointment of the members of the NHRI and NPM in full compliance with the Paris Principle”, Restart center, 2018
  • Step in the right direction: the establishment of the Lebanese National Human Rights Institution and the National Preventive Mechanism, Legal Agenda, January 2017
Major achievements: 
  • Designed a strategic program aiming at restructuring the forensic unit at the Lebanese Ministry of Justice.
  • Incorporated an innovative “Prison Management” training program for the Lebanese internal security forces
  • Drafting expert of a Medical Unified Protocol for medical centers in Lebanese prisons.
  • Expert appointed by the UNDP to provide awareness sessions on the Lebanese law creating Lebanon's NHRI, which includes the NPM to ISF members including Company commanders, ISF regional leaders, Judicial detachment commanders and officers, Information branch, and Prison company commanders in the respective governorates in Lebanon.
  • Consulting expert in the drafting and final revision of the Bill on Criminalization of Torture adopted in 2017 and the law creating the National Human rights institution NHRI and National preventive mechanism NPM in Lebanon adopted in 2016.
  • Created an innovative torture preventive mechanism at the Police custody context in 2015. The Pioneer pilot creation consists of an Independent Forensic & Psychological Examination Unit in Tripoli Justice Palace, which guarantees the right of a comprehensive medical screening to each person under investigation.


Awards and Distinctions

  • Nominated by the Office of United Nations of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, as an exceptional human rights defender from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
  • Honored as a “Pioneer woman” on the 2017 Occasion of International Women’s day by the Safadi cultural center and under the patronage of the Lebanese Minister for Women’s rights.
  • Paul Harris fellowship from Rotary Club (Tripoli), 2003.
  • Awarded the North-South prize from the Council of Europe in 2013 for her exceptional commitment to human rights, democracy and rule of law, contributing to the north‐south dialogue and interdependence