Middle East / North Africa

12 still in Lebanese jail 17 days after Turkish bath raid

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Twelve men remain in detention 17 days after at total of 27 people were arrested at a Turkish bath during an Aug. 9 raid by Lebanon’s national police and security force.

Helem, Lebanon’s LGBTQI advocacy organisation, provided that update today, citing the gay-friendly Lebanese human rights group The Legal Agenda. Helem stated:

“An article on the status of the Agha Hammam detainees by our friends at The Legal Agenda. As of today Helem learned that the 12 detainees are all still in prison with only one person being transferred to General Security [from which they can be released on bail]. They have been in custody since August 9.”

Some of the 27 have been released on bail.  Journalist Dan Littauer reported in the Huffington Post on Aug. 15 that “Six have been released on [Aug. 14] while the 21 others have been transferred to Zahle’s prison. … 16 of the detainees asked Helem … for legal help and can only be released with the payment of a substantial bail, to which the organisation is calling for donations.”

Helem said that the men had not been released even though their bail was paid five days ago. “This puts their lives under danger and puts them at risk of violence and abuse by other prisoners,” Helem added.

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