[Lebanon] Civic Space Quarterly, April 2022-June 2022

[Lebanon] Civic Space Quarterly, April-June 2022

Civic Freedoms Under Threat 

Civic Space Quarterly. A periodical bulletin from CeSSRA’s Civil Society Observatory. 

The Civic Space Quarterly provides a periodic update on the state of civil society and civic space in Lebanon. It is based on data from the CeSSRA’s Civil Society Observatory research programme. 

1. Civic Space Trends for April - June 2022 

a) Freedom Of Assembly: Workers Groups Remain the Main Mobilising Actor

Overview of Collective Actions Mapped

The period that spans from April 1 to June 30, 2022 saw 288 collective actions. This is a decrease of 23% compared with the first quarter of 2022 when 375 collective actions were mapped.

Mobilisations during the second quarter of 2022 reveal similar trends to those witnessed from January to March 2022. Protesters resorted to sit-ins and demonstrations (63% of all mobilisations) and roadblocks (23%) to demand reforms (31%) and socioeconomic rights (32%). They also rejected policy decisions (18%) such as the cancellation of the mechanical examination for cars, and the ban on subsidised flour use except for bread bakeries.

From April to June 2022, workers groups were the main mobilising actor leading 50% (144) of all mobilisations. This is consistent with the first quarter of 2022. Public administration employees, teachers, contract professors, judicial assistants, military retirees, healthcare workers and other workers groups mobilised to demand increases in wages, transportation allowances, social assistance, health coverage, and payment of school fees for their children. 

Collective and informal groups organised 22% of the mobilisations to denounce deteriorating socio-economic living conditions as they suffer from bread shortages, increase in fuel prices, medicines shortages, extended water and electricity cuts, further decrease in purchasing power, and rise in commodity prices.

On parliamentary elections day, May 15, numerous physical clashes over election-related disputes were monitored nationwide (more on violations below). However, only 5 collective actions related to parliamentary elections were organised in May and June: political parties supporters organised 3 mobilisations to protest election results, and civil servants who worked in polling stations held 2 sit-ins to demand the payment of their dues.



*More than one mode of action, mobilising actor, grievance, and objective can be used per collective action.


Constant Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly 

From April 1 to June 30, 2022, 12 collective actions were met with repression, with 8 mobilisations repressed in April. Means of repression included summoning and interrogations (9), assaults on demonstrators (6), restrictions on freedom of assembly (3), and arrests (1). The number of repressed mobilisations remained constant compared to the first quarter of the year.

Means of Repression