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The National Commission for Lebanese Women, that is a National machinery affiliated to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers , has prepared a Draft law aiming at Helping Women to be Candidates and Win the elections for the municipalities.

The municipalities elections in Lebanon are a family and neighbors issue. The Women who want to be candidate needs to be registered as a condition in the registry of the Municipality. “sejjel kayd”.

The discrimination appears in article 25, of the current Municipality law, in which a Women will loose all her links to the family, and networks that she has created in her municipality of origins ” sejil kaydiha el assassi”  if she gets married, as she is directly and without asking taken down from the registry of origin and enlisted in the registry of her “Husband”.

For me, it is a PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY in which a Women is the PROPRIETY of her FATHER until Marriage, after MARRIAGE, SHE IS THE PROPRIETY OF HER HUSBAND;

regardless my point of view of how the laws in LEBANON discriminate against women in the texts and make her directly affiliated to a MAN (the father or husband) , the new draft law is  a new step forward for women’s rights in Lebanon. this is done through this draft law amendment registered at the Parliament by the Active MP Ghassan Mukahiber, on the 11/4/2016 under registry number 168/2016,

as a Practical example, I as a married women from Achkout/Kesrwan , can be candidate after my marriage in Achkout if I wish ! Because in the Municipality of my Husband which is Deir Dourit/Chouf, no one have ever heard of me! 🙂 unlike Achkout, where all my activism, links, are tight 🙂

apart from this personal example, and for this,

 I am now asking ALL MPS (the reconducted oops! ) (another polemique here hein? ) to LEGIFERATE and VOTE and ratify this NEW amendment PRIOR TO THE 2016 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS!

WE AS WOMEN need IT!!!!  WE still fight for our rights in municipalities : a change of the law is a must!

Rita Chemaly

here is the text of the law amendment as presented to the parliament by Ghassan Mokhaiber.

here is the link to the Press release covered by our National News Agency! http://nna-leb.gov.lb/ar/show-news/216377/ 

 

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One of the most Horrible action against #human rights and human #dignity without talking about the freedom of choice,

the story as it has been prepared by NOW, is below for your information,

in both english and arabic.

rita

 

“I was standing outside the nightclub with my friends when I was ordered by [municipality] police to get into the car, with no legal order” one of the transgender revelers harassed Saturday night at Dekwaneh club Ghost told NOW, on condition of anonymity. She said she was taken into a room where she was abused both verbally and sexually by municipality head Antoine Chakhtoura’s deputies.

“They hit me and pushed me around and insulted me by using derogatory terms like ‘faggot’ and ‘half-a-man,’ then they asked demeaning questions such as how much do I make per hour and whether I enjoy ‘sucking on it,’ then asked me to strip naked and then took photographs of me.”

Lebanese activists and experts believe Chakhtoura’s actions have set a dangerous precedent whereby the Lebanese official can apply his own conception of justice as Lebanese law.

Among those who were arrested late night Saturday were three gay men and a transgender person. Each were forced to undress in front of Chakhtoura’s policemen, under his order, so they could determine their gender.

Following Saturday’s events, in an interview with the Lebanese television station LBC, Chakhtoura admitted that the detained were undressed, saying “Of course we made them take off their clothes, we saw a scandalous situation and we had to know what these people were. Is it a woman or a man? It turned out to be a half-woman and half-man and I do not accept this in my Dekwaneh.”

In an interview with NOW, Chakhtoura defended his actions saying “It is not my business what gender they decide to be, but they were violating moral codes of conduct and were taking drugs and it is my duty to put an end to it.”

However, the transgender person emphasized that she had no drugs in her possession and has asked the forces to give her a blood test to check for the viability of the accusations. Her requests have gone unanswered.

As for the sealing of the night club, Chakhtoura stressed to NOW that he believes it endorses sexual activities inside and outside its premises, and promoted the trafficking of drugs and “drunken” behavior. He also claims that his actions are justified by Article 74 in the municipal law code.

Ghost nightclub’s management has condemned the municipality’s accusation, stressing to NOW that the accusations against them are false and that the raid had no prior warning.

The manager, who also preferred to remain anonymous, explained that Chakhtoura came to the location and accused him of drug trafficking and prostitution, and when he was given the freedom to look into his accusations Chakhtoura replied “No, I don’t want to check, I want this place to be shut down.”

“I refused to close down,” then he walked out saying “but you have gay men in here.” Soon after, twelve of Chakhtoura’s policemen entered the nightclub, bullied customers out, and turned the music off. As of Monday afternoon, Ghost nightclub was sealed by order of the municipality, a note visible on its door with the names of the 4 persons who had been detained.

Lawyer and human rights activist Nizar Saghieh explained that the head of the municipality, in his actions, surpassed the relevant legal institutions and should thus be held legally accountable.

“By law, he is only allowed to gather the information needed and file a complaint to the public prosecution office. He has no right to take the decision on his own. His raid is illegal,” stressed Saghieh.

Until now, the club’s management has not filed a law suit against Chakhtoura and is waiting for the prosecution office to issue its own order, because they strongly believe Chakhtoura’s case is personal.

“Clearly, he has personal issues with homosexual men because this is not the first time these harassments take place, his men have been detaining passersby for over 6 months now,” the manager added.

Charbel Maydaa, the director of Helem, an NGO whose mission is to defend gay rights, confirmed the above allegations and explained that the organization has been monitoring the nightclub since they learned of the recurrent harassment and abuse of gay men and transgender people. Maydaa told NOW that customers near the nightclub are frequently exposed to abuse because of their appearance, and that victims were taken to the police municipality in the trunks of police cars.

Saghieh added that the municipal police’s detainment of customers is also illegal and should be looked into urgently because it is a clear violation of the constitution.

“They have no right to question subjects in any case; it is the judicial police jurisdiction and that is, if there was a crime at hand, but there isn’t one, transsexuality is not a crime, there is no legal finding to support it anywhere.”

Saghieh emphasized that if the subjects decide not to pursue a case, then it is  the lebanese civil society’s duty to address the issue as quickly as possible.

“This is a crime and Chakhtoura admitted to it publicly. Lebanese civil society should file a complaint against him at the public prosecution office.”

“This is very dangerous. He is forcing his own values, considering anything against them a crime, then punishing the wrong-doers. This should not be accepted,” said Saghieh.

SOURCE https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/reportsfeatures/transgender-club-victim-speaks-out

هذا ما حصل في ملهى المتحولين جنسياً في الدكوانة

رئيس بلدية يعتقل ويضايق مثليين ومتحوّلين جنسياً

(أ.ف.ب.)

“كنتُ أقف خارج الملهى الليلي مع أصدقائي عندما أمرتني شرطة البلدية بالدخول الى السيارة، دون أي مذكّرة قانونية” قالت لـ NOW واحدة من المشاركين في الحفلة الصاخبة الذين تعرضوا لمضايقات ليلة السبت الماضية في ملهى Ghost في الدكوانة، شرط عدم ذكر اسمها. قالت إنّها أدخلت الى غرفة حيث تعرّضت لأذى شفهي وجنسي من قبل مندوبي رئيس البلدية أنطوان شختورة.

“ضربوني وعاملوني بقسوة وأهانوني مستخدمين تعابير بذيئة مثل “مخنّث” و”نصف رجل”، ومن ثم طرحوا عليّ أسئلة مهينة مثل كم هو أجري في الساعة وإذا ما كنتُ أستمتع بالأمر، ومن ثم طلبوا مني ان أخلع ثيابي والتقطوا لي صوراً”.

يعتقد الناشطون والخبراء اللبنانيون أنّ أعمال شختورة تفرض سابقة خطيرة حيث يمكن لمسؤول لبناني أن يطبّق مفهومه الخاص للعدالة على اعتبار أنّه قانون لبناني.

من بين أولئك الذين تمّ اعتقالهم ليل السبت الماضي كان ثلاثة مثليين وشخص متحوّل جنسياً. وكل واحد منهم أجبر على خلع ثيابه أمام رجال شرطة شختورة، بأمر منه، بحيث يتمكنون من تحديد هويتهم الجنسية.

بعد أحداث ليلة السبت، وفي مقابلة له مع محطة التلفزيون اللبنانية LBC، اعترف شختورة بأنّهم جعلوا المعتقلين يخلعون ثيابهم، قائلاً “بالطبع جعلناهم يخلعون ثيابهم،عندما رأينا وضعاً فاضحاً وكان علينا أن نعرف ما هم هؤلاء الأشخاص. رجال أو نساء؟ وبدا أنّهم أنصاف رجال وأنصاف نساء وأنا لا أقبل بمثل ذلك في الدكوانة التي أنتمي إليها”.

وفي مقابلة له مع NOW، دافع شختورة عن أفعاله قائلاً “ليس شأني أية هوية جنسية يريدون لأنفسهم، ولكنّهم كانوا ينتهكون قوانين السلوك الأخلاقية وكانوا يتعاطون المخدرات ومن واجبي وضع حد لذلك”.

غير أنّ المتحوّلة جنسياً أكّدت أنّه لم يكن بحوزتها مخدرات وطلبت من القوى [الأمنية] أن يُجرى لها فحص دم للتحقّق من صحة الاتهامات. ولم تتم الاستجابة لمطالبها.

وبالنسبة لختم الملهى الليلي بالشمع الأحمر، أكد شختورة أنّه يعتقد بأنّه يسمح بالنشاطات الجنسية داخل مبناه وخارجه، وأنّه يروّج لتجارة المخدرات ولسلوك السكيرين. وهو يزعم بأنّ أفعاله تبرّرها المادة 74 من قانون البلديات.

ومن جهتها أدانت إدارة ملهى “غوست” اتهام البلدية، مشدّدة لـ NOW على أنّ الاتهامات الموجهة لها باطلة وأنّ “الكبسة” على الملهي لم يسبقها أي تحذير.

وشرح مدير الملهى، الذي فضّل هو كذلك عدم الإفصاح عن هويته، أنّ شختورة جاء الى المكان واتهمه بتجارة المخدرات وبالدعارة، وعندما سُمح له بالتحقّق من صحة اتهاماته، أجاب شختورة “لا، لا أريد التحقّق، أريدُ إقفال هذا المكان”.

“رفضتُ الإقفال”، ومن ثم خرج قائلاً “ولكن لديكم مثليين هنا”. وبعد ذلك بقليل، دخل 12 من رجال شرطة شختورة الى الملهى، قاموا بالتنمير على الزبائن، وأطفأوا الموسيقى. ومنذ بعد ظهر يوم الإثنين الماضي، جرى إقفال ملهى غوست بالشمع الاحمر بأمر من البلدية، وتبدو ملاحظة عُلّقت على بابه بأسماء الأشخاص الأربعة الذين جرى اعتقالهم.

وفي هذا السياق، شرح المحامي والناشط في مجال حقوق الإنسان نزار صاغية أنّ رئيس البلدية تخطّى بهذه التصرّفات، المؤسسات القانونية المختصّة وبالتالي يجب أن يحاسب قانونياً على ذلك.

“كما ينص القانون، يُسمح له فقط بجمع المعلومات المطلوية ورفع شكوى الى مكتب المدعي العام. لا يحق له أن يتخّذ القرار بنفسه. إغارته على المكان غير قانونية” شدّد صاغية قائلاً.

حتى الآن، لم ترفع إدارة الملهى قضية على شختورة وهي بانتظار أن يُصدر مكتب الادعاء حكمه، لأنّهم يعتقدون اعتقاداً راسخاً بأنّ قضية شختورة قضية شخصية.

“من الواضح أنّ لديه مسائل شخصية حيال الرجال المثليين لأنّ هذه ليست المرة الأولى التي تحصل فيها هذه المضايقات، فمنذ أكثر من ستة أشهر يقوم رجاله باعتقال المارة”، أضاف المدير.

وبدوره أكّد شربل الميدع، المدير التنفيذي لجمعية “حلم” غير الحكومية التي تهتم بالدفاع عن حقوق المثليين، على الادعاءات السابقة وشرح أنّ الجمعية كانت تراقب الملهى الليلي منذ علموا بالمضايقات المتكرّرة وبالإساءة الى الرجال المثليين والأشخاص المتحولين جنسياً. وقال الميدع لـ NOW إنّ الزبائن قرب الملهى الليلي دائماً ما يتعرّضون للاعتداء بسبب مظهرهم، وأنّ ضحايا الأحد الماضي نُقلوا الى مقر شرطة البلدية في صناديق سيارات الشرطة.

وأضاف صاغية أنّ اعتقال الشرطة البلدية للزبائن هو أيضاً غير قانوني ويجب النظر فيه بأقصى سرعة لأنه مخالفة واضحة للدستور.

“ليس لديهم الحق باستجواب أي كان في أية قضية كانت؛ فهذا من اختصاص الشرطة القضائية، هذا في حال كانت هناك جريمة، ولكن لا توجد جريمة، التحوّل الجنسي ليس بجريمة، ليس هناك أي حيثية قانونية لدعمها في أي مكان”.

وشدّد صاغية على أنّه في حال قرّر المعنيون بالحادثة عدم رفع أي قضية، فمن واجب المجتمع المدني اللبناني معالجة المسألة بأسرع وقت ممكن.

“هذه جريمة وقد اعترف شختورة علناً باقترافها. على المجتمع المدني أن يرفع شكوى ضدّه لدى مكتب المدعي العام”.

“هذا أمر شديد الخطورة. إنّه يفرض قيمه الخاصة، معتبراً أي شيء يعارض هذه القيم جريمة، ومن ثمّ يعاقب الآثمين الذين ارتكبوها. لا يجب القبول بذلك”، قال صاغية

Source:

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/ar/nowspecialar/%D9%87%D8%B0%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D8%B5%D9%84-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%83%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A9

 

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Kuddo to Moka & More for complying with the non-smoking in public spaces law!

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Un article que j’ai ete amenee a lire via le blog de Mustapha, ce qui me choque entre autre c’est le fait de sentir que les libanaises sont des femmes a part, et que pour “sauver” les libanaises que les mafiosos ramenent des filles d’Europe de l’est….

quant au reste, c’est un article a lire, je n’ai jamais mis les pieds dans un super night au Liban, mais quand je passe dans la rue je vois souvent les enseignes de femmes moins que couvertes, et sinctillantes… a vous l’article paru dans le Foreign Policy.

Rita

BEIRUT — Jad sits on a couch in the lobby of a hotel in Maameltein, Lebanon. The air is thick with stale cigarette smoke, and the mirror-lined walls are smeared and cracked. A gold crucifix gleams on his chest. There’s a large notebook on the chair beside him. Every so often, an attractive, young, Slavic-looking woman walks over, and he opens the notebook so she can sign her name.

“I have to make sure they sign out before leaving the hotel,” says Jad, whose name has been changed. “Otherwise, Immigrations will make me pay a penalty.”

Jad owns a “super nightclub,” one of approximately 130 in Lebanon, most of which are located in the town of Maameltein — just 20 minutes away from the glitzy clubs and high-end boutiques of Beirut. Not quite strip clubs, not quite brothels, super nightclubs represent the seedy underside of Lebanon’s famous night life. Owners import women, usually from Eastern Europe or Morocco, to work in their clubs under an “artist” visa. It’s understood, however, that “artist” is really just a euphemism for “prostitute.”

Lebanese law stipulates that these women can enter the country only after signing an employment contract, which has to be approved by the Directorate of General Security. Although the women come voluntarily, it’s not clear how many of them understand what their job will actually entail. According to Jad, most know what they’re getting into. Once in Lebanon, however, the women’s passports are usually confiscated until their contract is over.

There is no precise data on the super nightclub industry’s revenues, but Jad estimates that he makes a maximum profit of $30,000 a month. In a 2009 article, Executive magazine reported that super nightclubs haul in at least $23 million a year through legitimate channels. That might be only the tip of the iceberg, however, as the industry also generates under-the-table income through prostitution. Although prostitution is technically legal in Lebanon under a 1931 law, it’s only permitted in licensed brothels — and the Lebanese government stopped issuing the licenses in 1975. Therefore, any prostitution that occurs in super nightclubs is nominally illegal.

As a result, a complicated ritual takes place in these establishments in order to stay on the right side of the law. Customers pay about $80 for a bottle of champagne (the government collects a 10 percent sales tax on each bottle) and an hour with one of the women at the club that night. The women are always fully dressed, and while kissing is allowed, further sexual contact is strictly prohibited. However, a bottle also buys you a “date” with the woman sometime during the next week. Although there are clubs that will allow customers to take a woman on the same night for an extra fee, Jad says, this is rare since the penalties for such offenses are severe.

“One mistake, and Immigrations can ruin your business,” he says. “It’s not worth it to break the rules, even if it makes you money, because if you get caught, it can cost you a lot more.”

At first, Jad is evasive when asked whether the “dates” purchased by customers usually include sex.

“We don’t sell girls,” he maintains. “We’re not bordellos. We sell time with the girls. I only make money from the transactions at the club. But I don’t have GPS on every girl. If they want to do that, it’s their business. Nobody’s forcing them.”

As the conversation continues, though, Jad concedes that most of the time, it’s expected that the “date” will end in a room at one of Maameltein’s many cheap hotels. He insists, however, that the women have the option of saying no, and he’s adamant that the industry gets a bad rep.

“Everybody thinks that people who work at cabarets are the worst people in Maameltein,” he says. “But we’re really the cleanest people.… I’m not trying to say that we’re saints, but we have rules.”

Although Lebanon is widely considered to be one of the more sexually permissive countries in the Middle East, large portions of the country remain culturally conservative. According to Jad, most of his customers are wealthy, middle-aged Lebanese men, usually Muslim, who are looking to bypass the restrictions of Lebanese society.

“Lebanese girls don’t like to go out and have fun because they’re afraid people will say they’re whores,” he says. “Lebanese men like Russian girls because they like to have fun. If a guy wants to kiss a Lebanese girl, she’ll probably start talking marriage and then he’ll have to deal with her family.”

When I ask whether it would be possible to speak with one of the women, Jad is initially reluctant, but he seems to relax as the interview continues. At one point, he is interrupted by his cell phone and, after a brief conversation in Russian, indicates that one of the women will be coming downstairs to answer a few questions, though he insists on being present. Shortly after, a tall woman with white-blond hair enters the lobby dressed in pajamas. She rubs her eyes sleepily and sits down next to him. Her name is Lina, and she’s from Ukraine. Although she seems wary at first, it’s soon clear that she has quite a different perspective on the industry. Surprisingly, Jad lets her talk.

“Coming here was the biggest mistake of my life,” she says immediately. “In my country, I have my home, my family. But it’s hard to make money. I worked with my brother in his business, but because of the economy, the business failed.”

Lina lights a cigarette and sighs. “I’ve worked many jobs in my life, but I hate the system in Lebanon,” she says. “I thought I was coming here to work in a disco, but when I came here and found out everything, I was shocked. Girls had told me what it would be like, but they only told me half the truth. I imagined that I would only have to go with people I liked.… I’m just waiting for my contract to finish so I can go home.”

Her eyes fill with tears and she looks away. “I hate when someone chooses me,” she says quietly. “I feel like I’m a product in a market and anyone can just point at me and say, ‘I want that.'”

Jad interrupts her. “You’re not happy you came to Lebanon?”

She looks him in the eye and smiles sadly. “I’m happy for one reason. You know why.”

After she leaves, Jad leans back in his chair and is silent for a moment.

“I’m in love with her,” he says after a while. “But I can’t marry her, because if I do, I’d have to get out of this business, and I can’t do that right now. This business isn’t for her, and I respect her for that.”

Not everyone involved with the industry is as forthcoming as Jad. It takes some time for Toros Siranossian, who represents super nightclubs to the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs and Pastries in Lebanon, which serves as a lobbying body between investors and owners and the government, to admit that he’s involved with the industry at all.

Siranossian is a grandfatherly man with sharp black eyes, who looks to be in his late 60s. Every time he’s asked a direct question, his perfect English suddenly fails him. When he reluctantly agrees to discuss the super nightclub industry, he insists it’s a system that actually benefits Lebanese society.

“Lebanon is a tourist country, and because of that, we can’t invite people to come see churches and mosques,” he says. “We must have everything. It’s better to have super nightclubs so people can go out with foreign girls instead of Lebanese girls. They’d have to pay a fortune to go out with Lebanese girls, and a lot of Lebanese girls would become prostitutes.”

According to Siranossian, the industry has fallen on hard times in recent years.

“Girls cost more to bring over now,” he says. “After paying money to the Ministry of Tourism and paying off the police, that’s a lot of expenses.… Now, unless [super nightclubs] do dirty business, like forcing the girls to sleep with customers, they won’t make enough.”

Recent difficulties aside, the super nightclubs still have a loyal clientele among many Lebanese. Tony, a confident, muscular man in his early 40s dressed in jeans and a crew-neck sweater, is a frequent customer of the clubs. Although technically Christian, Tony, whose name has been changed, doesn’t consider himself religious. He says that the industry is completely unique to Lebanon.

“These clubs would not be able to operate for one day in any other country,” he says.

“They’re in a category by themselves. I mean, the whole thing is such a procedure — you can’t even get a girl on the same night. But it works here, maybe because of the culture, which is open in a lot of ways but still very conservative in others.”

According to Tony, the super nightclub industry has its redeeming qualities.

“There are benefits to the system,” he says. “The girls have to get tested, and they’re usually pretty well protected. But there are downsides too. Those girls basically live in a prison. They’re locked in their hotels for most of the time, and they don’t leave unless they have a customer. All the girls I meet at clubs are completely depressed. It’s not exactly a turn-on.”

Tony said that the government tolerates the industry because they can tax its revenues and because officials consider it better to contain and regulate prostitution than have it spread throughout the country. “They’ve turned Maameltein into Lebanon’s red-light district,” he says.

The complex nature of the super nightclub industry is typical of Lebanon, a country with more than its fair share of contradictions. As one drives past the neon signs of Maameltein’s cheap hotels and seedy clubs, it’s almost impossible not to compare it to the glitz and glamour of Beirut night life. Every Saturday night, while sleek Dior-clad women sip cocktails at luxurious rooftop clubs, super nightclub women just 20 minutes away don halter tops and micro-minis and prepare for work.

“It’s like Jesus and Judas,” Jad says of the industry, touching his crucifix. “God put Judas on Earth to kill Jesus. The super nightclubs are just fulfilling their purpose. Lebanon needs us, but it still judges us.”

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/09/sex_for_sale_beirut?page=full

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