Keep Your Dirty Hands Off Of Me!

Can the gay community in Lebanon be anything but sensitive to the new ad campaign against torture launched recently by ALEF (Act For Human Rights)?

The campaign's billboard: "Their Suffering is Not Comfort"
- inspired by an Arabic saying.
According to the first-hand experience of GiL, whose 7-post series on GiB re-counts his seven day-long arrest and detention (and future indictment?) under gay related accusations, it would seem that it is no longer customary to torture gay guys who are arrested in Lebanon’s detention centers.

Well he might have been just lucky.

Apart from the living conditions and the length of his detention, GiL was not treated through physical violence, although he certainly did undergo psychological pressure and humiliation.

But what if GiL had been less cooperative with his persecutors, when he signed without resistance their own – and inaccurate – version of his deposition?

What if GiL had used more of a defensive strategy, if he had been more aware of his civil rights?

What if GiL had been more aggressive if he had realized in time the injustice he was a victim of?

And most importantly, what about the physical violence he witnessed with some of his cell mates, who were charged with various drug and sex related crimes? They probably weren’t the sophisticated torture practices that you hear about in horror stories, but many of his co-detainees did receive that huge slap in the face.

For some, their bruises, their muteness spoke for themselves.

As for those detainees that did not go back to their cell after their interview, whatever happened with them remains a big question mark…

Now if that’s the standard of care at the Hbeich police station, the bête noire that has been under high scrutiny by the NGOs, one can only imagine what the standard practices look like in the less visible vaults of our prisons and detention centers.

With that in mind, we GiBs cannot but adhere to the cause. The problem is blatant and it’s big, it’s barbarian and it’s bad. For if even just one person gets tortured in Lebanon because of his or her sexual orientation, then it’s in our duty to show all our support to ALEF, Restart, Human Rights Watch and many others who are putting their best efforts to...


by GiB#2, with comments from GiL

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