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At least 60 investigated for social media posts since October 17

(Beirut) – Fourteen Lebanese and international organizations announced on July 13, 2020 the formation of a “Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in Lebanon” to oppose the Lebanese authorities’ attempts to stifle free speech and opinion in the…
Lebanese protesters wave national flags during demonstrations to demand better living conditions on October 21, 2019 in downtown Beirut.
News

Urgently Find Sustainable, Rights-Respecting Strategy

(Beirut) – Lebanon’s lack of a comprehensive solid waste management strategy is incurring huge environmental and public health costs, the Waste Management Coalition and Human Rights Watch said today. Trash began piling up on the streets in Beirut and…
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Scores Injured; Hold Security Forces Accountable

  (Beirut) – The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) unjustifiably used excessive, including lethal, force against protesters in Tripoli on April 27, 2020, killing one protester and injuring scores more, Human Rights Watch…
An anti-government protester holds a Lebanese flag in front the riot police during a protest against the deepening financial crisis, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
News

At Least 29 Investigated for Defamation, Insult Since October 17

(Beirut) – A spate of prosecutions since the outbreak of nationwide protests on October 17, 2019 against activists and journalists critical of government policies and corruption is threatening free speech and opinion in Lebanon, Human Rights…
Lebanese protesters wave national flags during demonstrations to demand better living conditions on October 21, 2019 in downtown Beirut.
News

Scores Injured; Hold Officers to Account

  (Beirut) – Lebanon’s riot police beat and violently arrested largely peaceful protesters and media workers during demonstrations on January 15, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The Interior Ministry should…
Riot police arrest a protester outside a police station in Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
News

Thousands Investigated for Defamation after Previous Protests

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities have been increasing their reliance on insult and defamation laws to silence journalists, activists, and others critical of government policies and corruption, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
An activist holds a computer keyboard and makeshift handcuffs in downtown Beirut on July 24, 2018, during a protest against the recent wave of interrogations by Lebanese security forces of people making political comments online.
News

Riot Police Fired on Crowds with Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets

  (Beirut) – Lebanon’s security forces used excessive and unnecessary force against protesters in downtown Beirut on October 18, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The Internal Security Force’s riot police fired tear gas at…
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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.
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Open Burning by Municipalities Endangering Health

(Beirut) – Lebanese municipalities are endangering the health of residents by openly burning waste despite the passage of a national solid waste management law banning the practice, Human Rights Watch said today. Following decades of…
Signs of burning at the al-Qantara dump, including soot from recent burns and ash deposits.
News

Repeal Laws Criminalizing Peaceful Speech; Drop Charges

  (Beirut) – A pattern of prosecutions for criticizing officials is threatening freedom of speech and opinion in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said today. Last week, On January 24, 2018, in the latest such case, the…
Lebanese members of parliament attend a parliament discussion in Beirut, Lebanon, October 17, 2017.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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End Open Burning; Create Long-Term Waste Management Plan

  (Beirut) – The lack of action by authorities to end open burning of waste across Lebanon is posing serious health risks for nearby residents, violating their right to health, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Open burning of waste in Majadel, south Lebanon
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Beatings, Harassment of Journalists and Bloggers Go Uninvestigated

(Nairobi) – Authorities in Kenya have committed a range of abuses against journalists reporting on sensitive issues, threatening freedom of expression ahead of elections slated for August 8, 2017, Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19…
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.
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Repeal Criminal Sanctions for Defamation, Criticizing Officials

(Beirut) – A Lebanese activist was arrested on March 21, 2017, and faces charges over a Facebook post criticizing public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrest and detention of the activist, Ahmad Amhaz, is incompatible with Lebanon’s human…
Lebanese security forces block a street leading to the parliament building in downtown Beirut, Lebanon September 9, 2015.
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Protect Freedom of Expression, Stop Criminal Prosecutions

(Beirut) – Lebanese authorities arrested a lawyer and human rights activist, Nabil al-Halabi, on May 30, 2016 over his Facebook posts criticizing government officials. The authorities should immediately release him. In his…
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Investigation Needed; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

  (Beirut) – Police in Lebanon used force to disperse a peaceful protest on August 19, 2015, failing to uphold human rights standards.   The authorities should immediately open…
lebanon protest garbage
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Human Rights Watch Film Festival

(Nairobi) – The Human Rights Watch Film Festival will mark its fourth year in Nairobi on November 10-14, 2014, with a program of films to raise awareness and spark critical reflection and debate while encouraging activism. The five films to be screened…
News

Treat, Compensate Victims of Mombasa Smelter

(Nairobi) – Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to…
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Protect Free Speech, Carry Out Reforms

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s new administration should take urgent steps in four key areas to address longstanding human rights challenges, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The administration should ensure that abusive security forces are held…
News

Amend Penal Provisions That Criminalize Defamation and Libel

(Beirut) - The Lebanese government should immediately drop criminal charges against three men for posting comments critical of President Michel Suleiman on Facebook, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges cannot be justified given that a major…