Lebanon

Harassment against journalists continues

During March 2022, 93 collective actions took place in Lebanon: 57 sit-ins and demonstrations, 19 roadblocks, 13 strikes, 11 marches, five building blockades and occupation, and one online campaign. Of these, four collective actions were faced with repression. Meanwhile journalists continue to face judical harassment. Read more

Harassment against journalists continues

Crackdown on dissent continues

In mid-December 2021, the Administration and Justice Committee adopted an amended version of the bill on the independence and transparency of the judiciary. However civil society groups indicate that the new bill is deficient and falls short of achieving judicial independence and protecting the right to association. Separately, at the end of January 2022, Reporters Without Borders referred incidents of violence against journalists in Lebanon to the UN, noting that there have been 28 journalists who have been victims of serious threats or acts of violence. Additionally, several cases against journalists and activists critical of the government have been documented. Read more

Crackdown on dissent continues

Beirut explosion probe, worsening economic crisis and political interference spark protests

Following the Beirut port explosion in August 2020, demands for political accountability continue, amid an ongoing and worsening economic crisis. Since the explosion, authorities and political leaders have hampered investigations into the blast. Related to this, several protests were staged. A protest on the worsening economic crisis and the government's announcement to impose a renewed lockdown, was met with excessive force and detentions. Additionally, a protest demanding political accountability on the one-year anniversary of the Beirut port explosion was also met with force. Additionally, in October 2021, at least seven people were shot dead in Beirut and 30 others injured when gunfire erupted during protests, called by Hezbollah, demanding the removal of judge Tarek Bitar investigating the Beirut port explosion, accusing him of bias. Several attacks against journalists were also documented, including the killing of two journalists. Read more

Beirut explosion probe, worsening economic crisis and political interference spark protests

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