General: Lebanon: Universal Periodic Review submission finds civic space recommendations unfulfilled

17.11.20

In a submission to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), to be held in January 2021, CIVICUS, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), International Media Support (IMS) and Social Media Exchange (SMEX) examined the Lebanese government’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society. 

Specifically, the four groups outline concerns related to the Lebanese government’s fulfilment of the rights to the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression and unwarranted restrictions on human rights defenders since its previous UPR examination in November 2015.  

While the government has made significant strides in addressing torture by adopting law number 65, known as the anti-torture law, the law has not been operationalised. Moreover, the government has persistently failed to address fully the brutal and violent dispersal of peaceful protests, the arrest and prosecution of journalists and protesters and restrictions on the activities of CSOs advocating for women’s and LGBTQI+ rights.

In the submission, the four organisations write, “We are deeply concerned by the legal and extra-legal restrictions on the freedom of association and, in particular, the systematic targeting of associations and activities by the LGBTQI+ community.”

The submission continues, “We are further alarmed by the continued deterioration of the freedom of expression, as highlighted by the increase in judicial proceedings against media outlets critical of the authorities, threats to digital rights, raids and attacks by security forces and sometimes by members of the public on media outlets and the targeting of journalists for assault, intimidation, interrogation and arbitrary arrest in connection with their journalistic work.”

Read the full report in English by clicking HERE.