An international human rights group says Lebanon's police forces are mistreating and torturing people including drug users, sex workers and homosexuals.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says its 66-page report is based on over 50 interviews with people detained for suspected drug use, sex work or homosexuality over the past five years.

"Abuse is common in Lebanon's police stations, but it is even worse for people like drug users or sex workers," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

In the report released Wednesday, HRW said the most common forms of torture reported were beatings with fists, boots, or implements such as sticks, canes, and rulers.

It said authorities should establish an independent complaints mechanism to investigate torture allegations.