Homosexuality is not a crime
In Lebanon, homosexuals continue to be arrested and prosecuted for their sexual orientation, based on Article 534 of the Criminal Code, which sanctions “sexual intercourse against the order of nature”.
Several infringements take place during the investigations, notably ill-treatment, extraction of confessions under coercion, interception of private communications and information from smart phones, and the threat of anal examinations despite its banning by the Ministry of Justice and the Doctor’s Order in Beirut in 2014. These infringements on individual rights are not limited to Lebanese, but also affect foreigners residing in Lebanon, such as Syrian refugees.
Since 2009, three court decisions have refused to apply Article 534 of the Criminal Code to sanction same-sex intercourse. Judges considered it is their right and duty to define the notion of “nature”; they ruled that same-sex relations are an exercise of personal freedom and are not “against the order of nature”.
This short animation aims to raise awareness to the infringements on the rights of homosexuals that take place during their arrest, and to highlight the role of the judiciary in interpreting the law in such a way as to protect marginalized groups, pending the repeal of Article 534 of the Criminal Code by the Lebanese Parliament.
Production: Jessica Azar
Supervision: Ghida Frangieh