Lebanese police have intensified their campaign against LGBTI people by using arrestees’ mobile phones to try to entrap other allegedly gay men, according to Helem, Lebanon’s LGBTQI advocacy organisation.
Helem has learned that the Hobeich police station has been arresting individuals in Beirut and going through their WHATSAPP [message service] contacts. They are summoning contacts from detainees based on their WHATSAPP conversations to go down to the police station for questioning. If you receive a phone call DO NOT GO, call 71 916 146 and Helem representatives will instruct you on what to do. DO NOT answer unknown numbers and save the Hobeich police station numbers on your phone so you can recognize them.
This is very important, please share with all of your friends and contacts either publicly or privately.
Under Lebanese law, same-sex intimacy is punishable by up to one year in prison.
Lebanon’s national police and security force arrested 27 people on Aug. 9 during a raid on a Turkish bath. They arrested another 18 men in two raids on Aug. 14.
The Helem warning came in the wake of a separate warning to users of the popular Grindr meetup app that it could allow them to be targeted if used in anti-gay regions. The makers of the app said that users could and should control how information about their location is displayed.
A software developer told Grindr users via Huffington News, “If you don’t want somebody to know your location, don’t provide your distance or don’t use geo apps at all.”
- Report: Lebanon targets gay men in 3 raids, 45 arrests (76crimes.com)
- “Lebanon Launches Police Raids Targeting Gay Men” (Huffington Post)
- Anti-gay Lebanon: 27 arrests in raid on Turkish bath (76crimes.com)