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When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
News

Urgently Address Economic, Political Crises

(Beirut) – The Lebanese authorities’ corruption and failure to address the massive political and economic crises the country is facing have resulted in the country’s most drastic deterioration of rights in decades, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
Lebanese people release balloons bearing the names of the victims of the 4 August Beirut seaport blast to mark the two-month anniversary of the explosion that killed 200 people and injured more than 6,500 others.
News

UN Review Should Focus on Increased Protection Against Violence, Bias

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities are falling short of their international legal obligations to protect women and girls from violence and end discrimination against them, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has submitted a report to the…
Women shout slogans and wave the Lebanese flag during a demonstration in down town Beirut.
News

US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
Report
Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
News

Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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News

Men, Transgender Women Particularly Vulnerable, Lacking Services

During Syria’s civil war, many people have been subjected to sexual violence, resulting in ongoing trauma. Many of these victims are men and they have described how such violence gets worse if they are considered gay, or “soft” as the local term…
202007syria_lgbt_main
News

Arts and Human Rights Groups Launch Free Online Program During Covid-19 Pandemic

In most Arabic-speaking countries, state censorship and pervasive social stigma around lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues often compel talented queer Arab filmmakers to show their films abroad, and not at home. Additionally,…
Portrait of protagonist from the Moroccan queer film Salvation Army by Abdellah Taïa.
News
As Bangladesh braces for the impact of COVID-19, with much of the country in lockdown, people with means have stocked food and hunkered down at home. But in a country where one in five people lives below the poverty line, for…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
News

Videos, Report Highlight Coexistence, Solidarity, New Possibility for Rights

(Beirut) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their rights in Lebanon are part and parcel of the nationwide protests that began on October 17, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in a web feature. The web feature,…
Rana, 32, standing in Riad El-Solh Square, one of the main protest sites in downtown Beirut. December 22, 2019. 
News
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Lebanon are accustomed to finding innovative strategies to cope with crises and combat state-sponsored repression, from navigating discrimination in employment to developing safe networks for…
LGBTQ Rights graffiti spray-painted at a protest site in downtown Beirut. December 22, 2019. © 2019 Marwan Tahtah for Human Rights Watch
News

Gender, Sexuality Conference Moved Outside Lebanon Due to Crackdown

Lebanon used to be known as a port in a storm for human rights defenders from the Arabic-speaking world – especially those working on gender and sexuality – to organize freely and without censorship. A major space for this…
Activists at the opening session of the 2019 NEDWA conference, September 27, 2019.
News
When she was 18, Maria escaped from her father’s house after he beat her so violently that she lost consciousness, then restrained her for two weeks with metal chains that stretched from her bed to the bathroom. “He wanted to beat the…
A trans woman living in Akkar, North Lebanon, has been kidnapped and denied police protection, housing, and employment on the basis of her gender identity. © 2019 Human Rights Watch
Video
Transgender women in Lebanon face systemic violence and discrimination. Transgender women face discrimination in accessing basic services, including employment, healthcare, and housing, as well as violence from security forces and ordinary citizens. 
News

Protect Against Discrimination, Simplify Legal Gender Recognition

  (Beirut) – Transgender women in Lebanon face systemic violence and discrimination, Human Rights Watch, Helem, and MOSAIC said in a report and video released today. Transgender women face…
Lebanese Trans woman putting make up on.
Report
  Summary We cannot find employment, we do not have homes, we cannot get an education, we are marginalized, we are shunned from society, we have no life, no connections, no families. We are rejected from family, from institutions, from…
News

Collective Sanctions on 2018 Participants

(Beirut) – Lebanese General Security has banned a group of activists and academics from re-entering Lebanon following their participation in a September 2018 conference on gender and sexuality, Human Rights Watch, the Arab Foundation…
People wave a Lebanese national flag during a protest in Central Beirut December 11, 2006.
News

Government Censors Indie Band Instead of Protecting Free Speech

(Beirut) – The Byblos International Festival Committee has cancelled the indie band Mashrou Leila’s August 9, 2019 concert, Human Rights Watch said today. The committee cited security considerations and said it wanted to avoid “bloodshed,”…
A group of Lebanese activists chant slogans as they hold Arabic placards that read: "Freedom of expression," right, and "With Mashrou' Leila against the suppression of freedoms.