Lebanon: the LGBTQI population, forgotten prisoners

LGBTQI prisoners in Lebanon face discrimination, violence and a lack of protection.

The Lebanese penal code prohibits all “sexual relations that contradict the laws of nature”. As such, openly belonging to the LGBTQI community is a crime punishable by imprisonment. In prison, LGBTQI individuals are at risk of physical, sexual and/or psychological violence from the authorities and their fellow prisoners because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Civil society actors are worried about their situation and are trying to raise awareness of it.

The NGO ProudLebanon seeks to protect marginalised individuals and is active in the country’s prisons. Bertho Makso is the co-founder and director of ProudLebanon. Prison Insider asked him three questions.

As soon as an LGBTQI person is arrested, they are shamed and insulted.

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Discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQI community are the result of discriminatory laws, a patriarchal society and a lack of training.