Lebanon

A year since October Revolution: Human rights violations continue amid lack of accountability

For the first anniversary of the October Revolution, hundreds of demonstrators marched in Beirut’s downtown district from Martyr’s Square towards the central bank, parliament building and the city’s port, where an explosion took place on 4th August 2020. Marches and demonstrations took place in other cities of Lebanon as well. The corrupt governance system remained the main target of the protestors who continue to call for accountability and social justice in Lebanon. On 1st September 2020, security forces once again used excessive force against anti- government protesters in Beirut. In a separate development, three women journalists in Lebanon, Dima Sadek, Luna Safwan and Mahassen Moursel, have been subjected to an intense hate campaign. Read more

A year since October Revolution: Human rights violations continue amid lack of accountability

Calls for political accountability after Beirut explosion: protesters, journalists face violence

On 4th August 2020, a huge explosion took place in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, causing more than 220 deaths. Reports indicate that 7,000 people were injured, dozens are missing, at least 300,000 people have been left homeless and these numbers continue to rise. The massive explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate which had been stored since 2014 despite warnings that it was dangerous. It destroyed Beirut’s harbour (in a country whose economy relies heavily on imports) and its neighbouring areas. Human rights experts have called for an independant investigation. Following the explosion, thousands took to the streets to demand political accountability and to protest against the worsening economic situation that the country is now facing. Protesters were met with excessive force as police fired tear gas and shot them with rubber bullets and live ammunition. Over 700 people were injured. What is particularly concerning is that security forces fired from close range, indicating that they were shooting to harm. In addition, 14 journalists covering protests were also met with excessive force, thus resulting in injury and hospitalisation for some.
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Calls for political accountability after Beirut explosion: protesters, journalists face violence

Protesters tents removed; Syrian refugees face discriminatory Coronavirus emergency measures

Following the order of the Lebanese Minister of Interior, security forces destroyed and removed tents erected by protesters in downtown Beirut. Riot police used some excessive force and about 10 protesters were detained overnight. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, activists say that the revolution is continuing online. As part of the Coronavirus emergency measures about 21 municipalities have introduced restrictions which discriminate against Syrian refugees. The restrictions impose a curfew for Syrian refugees only and go beyond the national government’s nationwide curfew. Read more

Protesters tents removed; Syrian refugees face discriminatory Coronavirus emergency measures

On the Watchlist: Protest continue in Lebanon; activists, journalists targeted by government

Despite the formation of the new government, Lebanon has entered its fifth month of protests with no end in sight. Throughout February 2020, protestors continued to demonstrate on a daily and weekly basis to denounce the social and economic repercussions of the crises. The systemtic use of excessive force by security forces has continued. It is reported that security forces used batons, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse protestors on a number of occasions. Journalists and activists are now being targeted by the government and summoned for interrogation for their participation in the revolution. Read more

On the Watchlist: Protest continue in Lebanon; activists, journalists targeted by government

Lebanon: Unprecedented use of violence in anti-government protests

It’s been more than 100 days into the Lebanese revolution, which has mostly been characterised as peaceful. However, many cases of excessive use of force have been documented by activists. Read more

Lebanon: Unprecedented use of violence in anti-government protests

Citizens in Lebanon take to the streets to protest dire economic conditions

On 29th September 2019, hundreds of people took to the streets protesting against dire economic conditions. Read more

Citizens in Lebanon take to the streets to protest dire economic conditions

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

This update covers the period between January 2019 and May 2019 and highlights incidents of attempts by a military tribunal to imprison a journalist for criticising the security forces on social media; raids by security forces, defamation lawsuit and attacks on media outlets; and continuous restrictions by the authorities of the space for LGBTQ community by blocking online dating app Grindr; while anti-austerity measures peaceful protesters were being dispersed through the use of water cannons. Read more

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

Media Independence threatened as 80% Politically Affiliated

Report released in December 2018 by the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM), reveals high political affiliation of the media in Lebanon. In this environment of threatened media independence, violations against journalists remain a serious concern. Read more

Media Independence threatened as 80% Politically Affiliated

Newspaper reacts to deteriorating civic space

On 11th October 2018, the media outlet, Annahar printed a blank newspaper. The action was a protest to decry the "deteriorating conditions in the country at all levels." Read more

Newspaper reacts to deteriorating civic space

CSO conference takes place despite attempts to close it down

In early October 2018, a conference organised by civil society stirred controversy. The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality's (AFE) meeting gathered 100 activists from 12 countries. Called NEDWA, it was the sixth annual meeting focused on gender rights in the region. Yet, AFE faced opposition from Lebanese authorities. The CSO noted that Lebanese security forces and a religious group tried to close the meeting. Read more

CSO conference takes place despite attempts to close it down