Beirut pride organiser detained, Judge ordered cancellation of events

Beirut pride organiser detained, Judge ordered cancellation of events

The organizer of Beirut Pride said he was detained overnight by Lebanese authorities who released him only when he signed a pledge to cancel the week’s remaining events.

Lebanon last year became the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week, though the opening event was canceled because of safety concerns after threats of violence.

This year’s pride week began on May 12 and was due to run until May 20.

Lebanon is widely seen as more socially liberal than most other Arab countries, but lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people say they are still discriminated against by state and society.

In a statement on the Beirut Pride website, organizer Hadi Damien said that security services turned up late on Tuesday at a public reading of a theater play. Damien said he was taken to a police station overnight and questioned. In the meantime, called by the head of the unit, the General Prosecutor of Beirut decided to cancel all the events of Beirut Pride scheduled during the month of May. As for Damien, he was asked to sign a pledge that stipulating that he was aware of the ruling of the judge (the General Prosecutor of Beirut).

Damien said he was told that if he refused to sign the pledge, he would be referred to the investigation judge for interrogation on the basis of articles pertaining to the incitement to immorality and to the breach of public morality for coordinating the activities.

Therefore, and as per the ruling of the General Prosecutor, Beirut Pride events were frozen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Acting bodies/ State apparatuses: 
Internal Security Forces
Soft power (non-violent response)
Types of response: 
Restrictions on individual freedoms (inc. censorship, freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of association)
Justification of response: 
Implementation of public decisions


Village Name: 
Local Name: 
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