Lebanon elected a president in October 2016, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum during which political institutions remained paralyzed. The government’s failure to provide basic services, including waste management, sparked protests, with some protesters prosecuted before military courts. Others who spoke out against the government were subject to criminal defamation laws. Detainees continued to suffer ill-treatment and torture, but in one welcome development, in October parliament established a National Human Rights Institute and preventative mechanism against torture. New residency policies introduced in January 2015 caused an estimated 60 percent of Syrian refugees to lose status, restricting their movement, ability to work, access to healthcare, and school.