Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Quick Reminder of What We Are Fighting

This is the photo



These are a few comments


Robert Majdalany
hahahaahaha niyyeloun :P  bikouno 3emlo lamme mnel dawra :P 


Elie Azar Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahhaah ma 3ad 3endoun 7ada saro 3am yessta2jro men barraaaa


Sami Kheyr
hay2to batal ma3on masary jame3et 14 lchaher saro 3am ydfa3o alil .fa l2asyoupiyat bye2balo bel alil.


Junho Wakim
Lol hahaha eh haide kenet t3abiloun ramel


Ali Hariri
5edlak b3d na2es afri2iye msh fahmene shi mn shi b lebnen t23od tetda5al bl siyesa

Yvette Abdallah
how much money they pay for her..........?


Melissa Dagher
Mesh aherkon ella l ouwet la anno rjel mesh metlkon lawat


Vahe Harmandayan
mabrouk alaikom Serlanka wa Zembabway


Louay
Libnèn mona hallab.. open ur eyes and smell the coffee dear!


Gihad L Hachem
Ydoum rasik ya babyyyyy



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

إشهار أول نقابة لـ"الخادمات" في مصر

A reminder of how amazing this step is for domestic workers in Egypt. And in hopes that domestic workers in Lebanon are able to unionize with time, and perhaps have their own syndicate to organize on their own rather than have others act and speak on their behalf.

Bawabat ElShabab

أعلنت 300 سيدة مصرية تأسيس أول نقابة لحماية العاملات في المنازل بمصر نظراً لمعاناتهم الشديدة من الحرمان من الحماية الاجتماعية وقوانين العمل التي تحفظ حقوقهن. ومن جانبها وافقت السلطات المصرية على إشهار أول نقابة لتلك الفئة، لحماية عاملات المنازل من الاستغلال والانتهاكات.وقال عبدالمنعم منصور، مدير مشروع الحماية القانونية لعاملات المنازل بـ"الجمعية المصرية للنهوض بالمشاركة المجتمعية" وكيل مؤسسات النقابة أمام الجهات الحكومية: إن "موافقة السلطات المصرية على إشهار أول نقابة لتلك الفئة تمثل خطوة مهمة نحو حماية عاملات المنازل من الاستغلال والانتهاكات الذي يتعرضن لها في إطار العمل".

وتابع منصور وفق وكالة "الأناضول" أن النقابة قامت بتأسيسها 300 عاملة، حيث تم اختيار هناء مصطفى عبدالحكيم فرغلي رئيساً للنقابة، وتم تحديد كل من نائبة الرئيس، وأمينة الصندوق والعضوات المؤسسات للنقابة، مشيراً إلى أن النقابة ستبدأ عملها أول الشهر القادم في مقرّها المؤقت بوسط القاهرة.

وحول أهداف النقابة التي تسعى لتنفيذها فور بدء عملها قال منصور: "وفق دراسة قامت بها الجمعية أوائل هذا العام للتعرف إلى مدى توفر الحماية القانونية لهؤلاء العاملات أثناء العمل وأهم المشاكل التي يتعرضن لها، خرجنا بمجموعة توصيات نسعى نحو تحقيقها".
 
واستطرد "تأتي المطالبة بعقد عمل موثق بشكل رسمي بين العاملة وصاحب العمل، كما نعمل على إصدار قانون خاص بعاملات المنازل وننتظر البرلمان القادم لتقديم مشروع القانون لضمان حماية تلك الفئة المهمشة حقوقها، خاصة أن منظمة العمل الدولية أجرت اتفاقية العمل اللائق للعاملين بالمنازل ولم توقع مصر على تلك الاتفاقية ولا أي دولة عربية أخرى".

وبحسب منصور فإنه "يقع على عاتق هذه النقابة تغيير الصورة الذهنية السلبية عن عاملات المنازل من خلال رفع وعي المجتمع بتلك المشكلة التي تجعلها هي نفسها تكره ما تقوم به وتتمنى إخفاء طبيعة عملها عن الجميع، بالإضافة إلى العمل على أن تتوافر فرص عمل من خلال مكاتب مدربة ومجهزة بحيث تضمن للعاملة عملاً آمناً وتضمن للأسرة عاملة أمينة، وكذلك منع وتجريم عمالة الأطفال ومنع استغلالهم بمهن عاملات المنازل".

ومن جانبها قالت عفاف مرعي، رئيس الجمعية المصرية للنهوض بالمشاركة المجتمعية، المنظمة صاحبة المبادرة بإنشاء النقابة، إن النقابة في إجراءات إشهارها من السلطات المصرية واجهت بعض الصعوبات حتى خرجت إلى النور.

وأوضحت أنه من "ضمن هذه المشكلات رفض وزارة القوى العاملة إشهار النقابة تحت اسم عاملات المنازل، واستبداله باسم "نقابة العاملات بالأجر الشهري"، رغم أن التوصيف الداخلي للإجراءات يشير إلى أن النقابة تستهدف عاملات المنازل.

وواجهت مرعي "إشكالية أخرى كادت أن توقف إجراءات الإشهار القانونية"، حيث قالت: "اعترضت وزارة القوى العاملة على أن مهنة "عاملة منزل" لم يتم ذكرها في بطاقة الهوية الرسمية لمؤسسي النقابة، وهو الأمر الطبيعي نظراً لعدم وجود نقابة لهم، مشيرة إلى أن الجمعية تريد إشهار النقابة حتى تتمكن العاملات من تغيير مهنتهن بالبطاقة.

وكانت دراسة بحثية أجريت على محافظات القاهرة والإسكندرية والجيزة والبحيرة في مصر، أكدت أن 90% من العاملين بقطاع العمل بالمنازل من النساء والأطفال، وأن الفقر والتهرب من التعليم والتفكك الأسري أهم الأسباب التي تدفع بالأطفال إلى سوق العمل بالمنازل.

ووفقًا للدارسة فإن النسبة الأكبر من العاملات أميات، وأن عدد المطلقات والأرامل والمهجورات من أزواجهن هي النسبة الأعلى نظرًا لإعالتهن لأسرهن.

الدراسة التي أجرتها الباحثة أمل فرج في إطار التحضير للنقابة، لفتت إلى أن هناك عددًا من الحاصلات على مؤهلات متوسطة وجامعية يعملن في المنازل، رغم إنكارهن طبيعة عملهن لخجلهن من نظرة المجتمع لهن، ولكنهن لجأن إلى العمل بهذه المهنة نتيجة الفقر والبطالة التي تقف حائلاً بينهن وبين العمل بمؤهلاتهن العلمية، ورغم ذلك لا توجد إحصائيات لحصر هؤلاء العاملات نتيجة لعدم وجود عقود عمل بين العاملات وصاحب العمل.

وأثار خبر إشهار أول نقابة لعاملات المنازل اهتمام عدد من الكتاب والإعلاميين، واعتبروه "من استحقاقات ثورة 25 يناير 2011".

وفي هذا السياق، قال الكاتب الصحافي وائل جمال، مدير تحرير جريدة "الشروق" المصرية في مقال له هذا الأسبوع: وضعية عاملات المنازل في مصر تجعل منهن بامتياز إحدى الفئات الأكثر تعرضًا للتهميش والاستغلال والانتهاكات في قوة العمل.
وتابع: "وعندما تكتشف بعضهن مصالحهن المشتركة، ويبدأن بالفعل في تنظيم أنفسهن للدفاع عنها، فإن هذا تطور هائل في تركيب مجال الفعل العام، لم يكن ليحدث لولا ثورة يناير".

واستطرد جمال "فهن من أضعف مكونات قوة العمل وأفقرها وأقلها حظًا في التعليم، بل ويفتقرن أيضًا بسبب طبيعة عملهن إلى الوضعية التنظيمية التي تدفع عمال مصنع للاصطفاف في نقابة".

وعلقت الإعلامية المصرية والناشطة جميلة إسماعيل على حسابها على تويتر على هذا القرار قائلة: "تحية احترام وتقدير لشجاعة مؤسِّسات أول نقابة لعاملات المنازل وصدقهن بإعلانهن وسط جيرانهن وأصدقاء أبنائهن أنهن "عاملات منازل" وتحديهن لمجتمع منافق".

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who’s Harassing Whom?

Now Lebanon

Recent months saw a wave of anti-Syrian sentiment in Beirut’s Ashrafieh. The violence has been fuelled by stories about sexual harassment of women in the neighborhood by the recent arrivals from next door. (Indeed, intolerance of the Syrians who are flooding into Lebanon from their war-torn home country is widespread, as six Syrian men were attacked by armed assailants in West Beirut on Wednesday night, leaving several in the hospital).

But all the rumors of widespread harassment of Lebanese women by the Syrians do not withstand scrutiny.

“There is no increase in crimes or sexual harassment by Syrian migrants in Beirut,” says Noha Roukoss from the Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center (CLMC), which coordinates with the judiciary when migrants get arrested or charged with crimes.

While in general sexual harassment of women by both Lebanese and foreign men is rampant, a police official who asked to remain anonymous as he is not allowed to speak to the press backed Roukoss’ assertion. “There are problems in the area with theft and harassment, but these problems aren’t specifically connected to Syrians,” the officer said.

The Lebanese army recently raided several houses in Ashrafieh’s Jeitawi quarter, beating at least 72 migrant workers. In a statement, the army claimed it was reacting to “complaints in Jeitawi because of the acts of foreign laborers of different nationalities, [such as] acts of theft and acts against public morals.”

After the operation, the mukhtars, or local officials, of Ashrafieh also issued a statement, asking the LAF to put an “end to the acts of harassment, rape, murder and theft endured by the residents and which are being committed by the thousands of foreign workers.”

Ashrafieh, and especially Jeitawi, are predominantly Christian neighborhoods with close-knit families who have been living there for generations. But recently demographics started to change. Since close-by Jemmayze became a popular spot for internationals, more and more people moved to Jeitawi, as rents are cheaper and the streets are less noisy. Growing economic opportunities also drew a lot of Syrians who had fled their home country and settled in Jeitawi to work in local businesses.

According to Roukoss, there is a sort of panic in Ashrafieh about the influx of Syrians, which has picked up since fighting in their country has spread in the past year. “Lebanese have suffered a long time from the Syrian occupation. The people don’t know the background of the newcomers and so they’re afraid.”

Pressed about their statement, two Ashrafieh mukhtars, Reine Abdel Nour and Elie Sabbagha, could not cite any concrete examples of harassment by Syrians. Abdel Nour told NOW she hadn’t received any official complaints, though Sabbagha claimed that “there are many complaints. They annoy everybody, especially girls and women. They act as if the country is theirs.” However, around a week after the raid, when NOW told him that nobody interviewed in the neighborhood admitted to having been harassed, he retracted his statement.

“It is a blatant case of racism,” says Farah Salka from the Anti-Racism Movement, a Lebanese civil society organization. “Someone from the neighborhood knew someone who knew someone. So the army came to show the Syrians their position in Lebanon. They wanted to tell them ‘Don’t feel too comfortable here. Know your place.’” Salka has been doing social and community work in the area for years. “I’m getting harassed by men almost every day, but I can’t remember that any of them was a migrant.”

The police official interviewed by NOW backs these claims. “The statements of the army and the mukhtars have no fact-based background,” he said after double-checking with officers working in the area.

Friday, October 19, 2012

منظمات حقوقية تطالب السلطات اللبنانية بوضع حد لتجاوزات الأجهزة الأمنية اتجاه الأجانب

17 تشرين الأول 2012 

تتصاعد الممارسات اللاقانونية والعنصرية ضد الأجانب العاملين أو اللاجئين بلبنان، آخرها ما قام به عناصر من الجيش اللبناني في حق ما يزيد عن 70 عاملاً سورياً ومصرياً وسودانياً في بيروت عندما قاموا، بناء على شكوى تقدم بها بعض السكان بتهمة "التحرش بالفتيات ومضايقة السكان"، بمداهمة منازلهم ليلة السابع من تشرين الأول أكتوبر والاعتداء عليهم بالضرب. 

ان التعدي على الاشخاص وحرماتهم غير مقبول سواء قام به مواطنون لبنانيون او اجانب، ومن حق من يتعرض للاعتداء ان يلجأ الى السلطة العامة المختصة لرد الاعتداء عنه والاقتصاص من الفاعلين. غير ان رد الفعل خارج النطاق القانوني أو المبالغ به هو بدوره غير مقبول سواء تناول مواطنين ام اجانب، واستخدام القوة من قبل القوى الامنية غير مباح الا اذا كان هناك ضرورات قصوى واستثنائية تبرره من مقاومة عنيفة او اعتداء تتعرض له القوى الامنية او السلامة العامة ولا يمكن تداركه بوسائل اخرى وعلى ان يكون متناسبا مع الخطر. ونعبر عن خشيتنا ان تكون هذه الحادثةحصلت من كون "المشتكى منهم" اجانب يعانون من النظرة الدونية والتهميش وانعدام الحماية. 

إن ما جرى يعد انتهاكاً لحقوق الانسان بكل المقاييس. حيث تشوب هذه الحالة التجاوزات الاساسية التالية: 


أولا إن الشكوى الموجهة بحق أشخاص قاموا بإزعاج السكان لا تعني أن يطال العقاب جميع من ينتمي الى المجموعة التي ينتمي اليها المشتكى منهم او كل من تواجد في المنطقة من عمال أجانب وبالأسلوب الذي تم به الاعتداء، لأنه يعني عنصرية موصوفة وكره للأجانب (Xenophobia)، خاصة ما جاء في بيان مديرية التوجيه بالجيش اللبناني التي أكدت "مواصلة عمليات الدهم والتحقيق في الأماكن التي يشتبه بإيوائها عمالاً من جنسيات مختلفة، يتعدون على حرمات المواطنين والإساءة اليهم" 

ثانياً: إن الجهة المولجة بالتحقيق في الجرائم المشتبه بها هي الضابطة العدلية بتكليف من القضاء وتحت إشرافه. ولهذه الضابطة في حالات استثنائية وطارئة فقط ان تطلب مؤازرة الجيش اللبناني، ولا نرى في هذه الحادثة أي مسوغ أمني أو سياسي لتدخل الجيش. 

ثالثاً: إن واجب القوى الأمنية بالتدخل لوقف "التعدي على حرمات المواطنين والإساءة إليهم" لا يعطيها الحق بمعاقبة المرتكبين، إذ أنها بذلك تكون قد اصدرت قراراً مبرماً بحق المرتكبين وقررت إنزال العقوبة بهم، في حين أن الجهة الوحيدة التي لها حق إصدار الأحكام وتنفيذ العقوبات هي القضاء، وهو يقوم بذلك بناء على تحقيق عدلي محترف وحكم قضائي يصدر باسم الشعب اللبناني. 

رابعاً: إن البيانين اللذين صدرا عن مديرية التوجيه في الجيش إنما يعبران عن إشكالية خطيرة ذات بعدين اثنين، البعد الأول هو تجاوز للصلاحيات والإعلان عن تنفيذ مهام عسكرية وأمنية دون الرجوع إلى مرجعية القانون او الى المرجعية السياسية والقضائية وهي مسألة خطيرة لا تجوز إلا في الانظمة الأمنية حيث تغيب دولة القانون. والبعد الثاني هو ما يحمله من نَفس عنصري بحق الأجانب لاسيما ما جاء في البيان الصادر نهار 11 تشرين الاول حيث دعت قيادة الجيش اللبناني "جميع الذين تلحق بهم إساءات من أي نوع كان إلى الاتصال بالقوى الأمنية والعسكرية، بغية التدخل السريع ووضع حد" لها، وتشدد هذه القيادة على استمرارها في عملها الأمني عملاً بما تقضيه مصلحة المواطنين" متخطيةً بذلك دور النيابات العامة . 

إن المنظمات الموقعة أدناه اذ تستنكر هذا التعدي على سلامة الافراد وحرياتهم، تطالب السلطة التنفيذية التي تشرف على الأجهزة والقوى الأمنية والجيش اللبناني القيام بدورها وتحمل مسؤولياتها في حماية المواطنين والمقيمين عل حد سواء من اي اعتداء. 

كما نطالب السلطة القضائية التدخل لوضع حد لهذه الممارسات، وفتح تحقيق فوري بالأحداث التي جرت ليل السابع من تشرين الاول وإنزال العقوبات الجزائية بحق المخالفين والمرتكبين أيا كانت الجهة التي ينتمون إليها، بما في ذلك القوى الأمنية والعسكرية ، كما ندعو كافة السلطات إلى احترام الدستور اللبناني والتزامات لبنان الدولية وقوانينه الوضعية لا سيما الحق بالحرية الشخصية والسلامة الجسدية، واحترام مبدأ مساواة الجميع امام القانون وفي التمتع بالحقوق والواجبات دون اي تمييز على اساس اللون او العنصر او القومية او الرأي السياسي او اي اساس آخر، واحترام مبادئ المساءلة والمحاسبة وفصل السلطات.، واحترام اتفاقية مناهضة التعذيب وغيره من ضروب المعاملة أو العقوبة القاسية أو اللاإنسانية أو المهينة. 

المنظمات الموقعة: 

نحو المواطنية 

حركة مناهضة العنصرية 

المرصد اللبناني لحقوق العمال والموظفين 

المفكرة القانونية 

هيومان رايتس واتش Human Rights Watch 

Frontiers Ruwad Association جمعية روّاد فرونتيرز 

The Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights Lebanon (FHHR/L)

Nasawiya

مؤسسة الكرامة Alkarama Foundation
 
Kafa (Enough) violence and exploitation كفى عنف واستغلال
 
ANND

CLDH

Amnesty 

Khiam rehabilitaion center for victims of torture 

ALEF

Emulating the Emirates

Now Lebanon

Here’s another date to look forward to in November besides the US presidential elections on the 6th: On November 12 is the verdict in the trial of a monstrous Emirati woman who is appealing a 13-year sentence for sexually assaulting and then beating to death her Indonesian maid.

The woman first claimed innocence in the killing, but then when it became abundantly clear that she murdered her maid with her own hands, she claimed insanity. After having been proved sane, she’s now appealing the verdict, claiming it was the police who killed the lady.

As sad as it sounds, I’m pleasantly surprised that there was a trial at all. Here in Lebanon, according to a Human Rights Watch report, a “lack of accessible complaint mechanisms, lengthy judicial procedures, and restrictive visa policies dissuade many workers from filing or pursuing complaints against their employers. Even when workers file complaints, the police and judicial authorities regularly fail to treat certain abuses against domestic workers as crimes.”

There are even examples of maids complaining about their employers and then ending up in jail themselves.

As much as it hurts to say, putting abusive employers on trial is one of the ways in which Lebanon could gain from emulating the Emirates.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Syrian workers attacked in Beirut, suspects detained

How does one put an end to this cycle of insanity?
What is wrong with people? How much can one hate? What limits all this ignorance and racism?
If only one can get quick answers for this.

Daily Star reports today


***

BEIRUT: Six Lebanese and a Palestinian suspect were arrested early Thursday after allegedly beating and stabbing Syrian workers at a Beirut construction site.

Security sources told The Daily Star that the group of young men, who used three motorcycles and a four-wheel drive vehicle to storm the construction site in Wata Mossaitbeh, Beirut, shortly after midnight, beat and stabbed six Syrian workers.

The injured, some in serious condition, were taken to Rafik Hariri state hospital for treatment, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They said seven suspects – six Lebanese and a Palestinian – were arrested during a police manhunt in the nearby area of Ras al-Nabeh shortly after the attack.

Daggers, butcher knives and sharp tools were found on the suspects who were taken to Ramlet al-Baida police station for interrogation, the sources added.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

People Speaking Up

After the MEA incident and the different reactions it solicited from people, we put up this post in reply to MEA and appealing to them to take more action, the right kind of action, to turn the page properly on what happened.

In response to our call for testimonies, we received the below. We paste with a few edits and without posting the name of the sender, of course. S/he works at the airport. The below testimonials are not reflecting MEA flight stories and might no be related to MEA at all. They are just a small reflection of practices, very normalized practices, at Beirut airport, regardless of which airlines.

We would appreciate and be grateful if others follow through and send their testimonies too. We can only counter this together.

***
...
1
On the flight that goes to Ethiopia, if an African person is too slow carrying their luggage to the scale, they're threatened that they will not be allowed to travel.

2
They are also only allowed to be seated in the back of the plane.

3
Their hand luggage is taken from them and put in cargo, and if they refuse, and say they want to keep their hand bags, they're again told they will not be permitted to travel.

4
Also, an officer in the customs once approached an Ethiopian girl, telling her that if she paid him a bit, he wouldn't let the airline charge her for excess weight. She gave him either a 20$ or 50$. Then he abandoned her. The airline charged her of course.

5
Lebanese people treat the Ethiopian airlines cabin crew like maids, they yell at them, insult them, and speak to them like they would speak to slaves.
...

Email us on antiracismlb@gmail.com

السياحة تضبط مخالفة تمييز ضد مواطنة أثيوبية وتحيل مدير مسبح الى المحاكمة

الحادثة هي الأولى من نوعها. شرطة وزارة السياحة تضبط مخالفة "تمييز" ضد مواطنة أثيوبية منعت من الدخول الى مسبح كائن في بيروت، تنظم محضرا بها وترسله الى القاضي المنفرد الجزائي في بيروت. وكانت وزارة السياحة أصدرت بتاريخ سابق (45 نيسان 2012) تعميما تنظيميا يفرض على مجمل المؤسسات السياحية احترام المساواة في استقبال الزبائن. القاضي عين جلسة أولى للنظر فيها في 12-10-2012 وتم ارجاؤها لابلاغ "المخالف" الى 11-1-2013. المفكرة تترقب هذا الموعد.  

More on Racism at Lebanese Airports

Abed Shaheen on MTV again:)
Also, listen to Nahla Chahhal's recount of what she witnessed at the airport too.
Sickening.
But more people are speaking up and this is amazing.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rule of Law Principle Includes Migrant Workers

Al-Akhbar English
Wissam al-Saliby

On the evening of 7 October 2012, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) raided three houses in the Beirut neighborhood of Jeitawi in Achrafieh where up to 72 migrant workers reside and rounded them up and subjected them to beatings. Media reports said that 11 migrants were arrested.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for an investigation and the punishment for the army attacks on migrants. HRW said that the workers “were not aware of anyone being arrested.”

Either foreigners are the only persons in Lebanon harassing and aggressing Lebanese, or that harassment and aggression by Lebanese – as opposed to non-Lebanese – does not constitute a violation of the law and is tolerated.Responding to HRW, an LAF communiqué (as well as a communiqué by an Achrafieh citizen group) affirmed the role of the military “in responding to abuses and harassment.” These responses were explained as an implementation of the rule of law.

In recent years, training and capacity building have been pursued by Lebanon’s various security forces, under the guise of the “rule of law,” mostly supported by foreigner donors and embassies. One such example is the European Union project to support the Lebanese police.

Rule of law implies that everyone – from the individual right up to the state itself – is accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated. Yet, migrant workers in Lebanon seem to “fall outside” the rule of law. Over the past four years, numerous human rights campaigns have failed to impact a sustainable change in the situation of migrant domestic workers, and in replacing the sponsorship (Kafala) system with another system respective of human dignity.

On October 11, the LAF’s second communiqué in relation to the October 7 incident called on citizens to report harassment and aggression by foreigners to security forces, in order for the latter to respond to them.

The rationale of this communiqué is that either foreigners are the only persons in Lebanon harassing and aggressing Lebanese, or that harassment and aggression by Lebanese – as opposed to non-Lebanese – does not constitute a violation of the law and is tolerated.

Also, the communiqué’s proposal that the security forces “respond” to violations suggests that the judiciary is sidelined – certainly not in compliance with the rule of law.

The Lebanese public, particularly within the Christian community, has not forgotten the rape and murder of Myriam al-Ashkar in November 2011 by a Syrian janitor working at a monastery in the Keserwan region of Sahel Alma, where Ashkar had been praying.

Reporting on the October 7 incident in Achrafieh, New TV/a> collected testimonies by Lebanese and women migrant domestic workers who were presumably aggressed or molested by unidentified male migrant workers in Achrafieh during an unidentified period of time.

On Facebook, the Achrafieh page discussions in relation to the incident were enflamed with statements such as “I would like to see your reaction when one of those pigs molests your sister or mother again and again or robs u [sic] with zero remorse.” Telecoms minister Nicolas Sehnaoui issued a statement decrying the campaign against the LAF following the latter’s crackdown on workers of various nationalities who had committed crimes.

In contrast with these discourses, the principle of individual criminal responsibility, including the prohibition of collective punishment, is a fundamental guarantee of international human rights law. The European Court of Human Rights stated that “it is a fundamental rule … that criminal liability does not survive the person who has committed the criminal act” (AP, MP and TP v Switzerland, Case No 71/1996/690/882).

The political elite and the media are failing to make a clear distinction between suspected criminals (migrants or citizens) and the community of male migrant workers. And they have deliberately ignored the fact that some of the migrants who were beaten on October 7 have been living in Lebanon since the ‘90s, are well integrated in the local community and known to their Lebanese neighbors.

The political elite and the media are failing to make a clear distinction between suspected criminals (migrants or citizens) and the community of male migrant workers.Since 2009, I have documented on my blog, Ethiopian Suicides, this same phenomena in relation to women migrant domestic workers. A given case of theft or abuse by a migrant domestic worker is cited to reject the demands of the human rights community for reform.

Should we assume that a given migrant worker is suspected of criminal behavior, the judiciary has to intervene and investigate, and to establish the facts. This is the cornerstone of the rule of law, and the guarantee for the safety of both the migrant worker community and the Lebanese community hosting the migrants.

Further to this, Article 14 of the Lebanese constitutions states: “Domicile is inviolable. No one can enter it except when provided by the law and according to the procedures the law prescribes.” For the purpose of cracking down on criminality, whether committed by Lebanese or by migrants, the general prosecutor and the investigation judge are entitled to issue search warrants for places of residence. The sanctions for a law enforcement official violating the privacy of homes is detailed in the Lebanese Army’s own publication, Majallet al-Jaysh, in its January 2006 edition.

Codes of conduct are aimed at rendering explicit how law enforcement officials can and should respect human rights, human dignity and freedoms, the most important of which are the right to life, prohibition of torture and cruel treatment, and the right to a fair trial.

In 2011, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) adopted a Code of Conduct, with support from the United National Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The model code of conduct followed by most states is the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, adopted by the United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (Cuba, 1990).

Historically, the LAF have played the role of law enforcement officials, contributing to maintaining Lebanon’s security and stability. In light of this internal role, the LAF should seek to follow the ISF code of conduct, or at a minimum, abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms.

In the foreword to the ISF Code of Conduct, the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Marwan Charbel said that “this (code) is a pioneering accomplishment and a worthy model for Lebanon and the world as the Code of Conduct establishes institutional, ethical and professional ground rules observing national legislation and international conventions and standards...Let us contribute to strengthening the rule of law and state institutions based on the principles of democracy and respect for human rights.”

In contrast with the October 7 incident, the Code of Conduct states that “police members will not practice, incite, or disregard any act of torture or any cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment during investigations and during the execution of their missions…Police members will be ethical and polite; they will also be strict, tactful and well-mannered and show no arrogance when performing their duties.”

With such guidelines in place, and with legislative safeguards for prevention of abuse of security forces, and for a fair trial, the LAF, the ISF and the Lebanese government should invest more effort to ensure compliance with these rules. And they must demonstrate that the principle of the rule of law in Lebanon is inclusive of the migrant worker community – both male and female.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Happy Story this Time

So a friend in Lebanon told me this today. She works at one of the consulates of a country which many domestic workers here come from. I had to share.

***
She was at Adlieh detention center a few days back. She had a few cases she needed to follow up on and some people to visit and deliver stuff to. While she was busy doing what she was doing, one of the security people comes up to her and tells her, 'Im sorry about the airport incident'. He was referring to the MEA incident of last Sunday. And he looked like he really meant his sorry. Surprised, and barely having time to answer that, a few other police officers start rambling about that story and how bad it was, how they believe MEA should be severely held accountable to what had happened and how it is unacceptable, under any pretext, to treat people like this.
***

We might sound angry and upset most of the time. There is after all, enough content around us to make us negative and pessimistic quite often. But it only take a genuine story like this for us to remember that isn't always as bad as we think it is. Even within the general security people, there are ones who have hearts and guts to apologize on behalf what others have done.

There are still good people around and there is hope.

Interesting Piece

Thank you 'The Beirut Report' for a creative idea, no one had mentioned to us before.
Read here.

Edde Sands is one of many resorts that has violated anti-racism laws .

Fancy Lebanese hotels and beach resorts love to fly fags of foreign (mainly European) countries to highlight their "international standards."

But I wonder why they don't fly "Ole Dixie" i.e. the US Confederate flag? It came to be associated with the Jim Crow system, a set of laws that upheld racial segregation in the US until the 1960s.

Decades later, many Lebanese establishments continue to enforce a Jim Crow order by banning entrance to dark-skinned African and/or Asian migrant workers, despite a recentgovernment decree banning the practice.

So why don't they fly good ole Dixie in celebration of their racist, in addition to "international," ways?



Thankfully we now have local groups like the Anti Racism Movement (ARM) that are exposing such discriminatory practices through covert recording operations like this one, performed earlier this summer. Every resort phoned by activists openly admitted their race-based entrance policies:


ARM is also doing hidden camera reports that are getting a fair amount of coverage in the Lebanese press.

تصريح/توضيح

رسالة من حركة مناهضة العنصرية في لبنان رداً على حادثة ال MEA


بتاريخ يوم الأحد الواقع في السابع من تشرين الأول 2012 قام موظف وموظفة على كونتوار المسافرين في مطار بيروت الدولي بالمناداة وبصوتٍ عالٍ وبأسلوب يخلو من اللّياقة والتهذيب على بعض المسافرين من الجنسيات الأسيوية وتحديداً من الفيليبين والنبال طالبين منهم السكوت التّام وبطريقة السخرية والتهكم. 

في هذه اللحظة تدخل أحد المسافرين اللبنانيين منبهاً الموظفين إلى أن هذا التصرف وبهذه الطريقة يسئ إلى كرامة وشخص المسافرين المعنيين وعوضاً عن الإعتذار - أو في أسوأ الحالات عدم الرد - فلم يسلم المسافر اللبناني من أسلوب وتصرف الموظفين الوقح وذلك من خلال تحديه من رفع هذا الحادث إلى المعنيين في إدارة الشركة تحت طائلة منعه من السفر و إلغاء تذكرة سفره. 

بعد اطّلاعنا على البيان الصّادر عن شركة طيران الشرق الأوسط عبر موقع الفيسبوك، و بعد اعلان بعض من موّظفي الشركة عن الأجراءات المتّخذة بحق كلّ من الموظّفين، نودّ باسم حركة مناهضة العنصرية في لبنان تبيان ما يلي: 


أولاً: انّ حركتنا لم و لن تستهدف اي جهة او شركة معيّنة لتلبيس قضيّتنا الأساسية الا وهي محاربة التمييز العنصري و تكريس مبدأ المساواة في مجتمعنا. لذلك نرى أنّه لن يكون كافيا و لا عادلا أن يقتضي الأمر بصرف موظّفة او معاقبة اخر – لأي مؤسّسة انتموا – لحلّ مسألة التمييز العنصري السّائدة في مجتمعنا خصوصاً و أنّ تاريخ هذه المؤسّسات حافل بالتمييز ضدّ العمّال الأجانب و الحوادث الشبيهة للّتي حصلت مؤخّراً لا تُحصى. 


ثانياً: نطالب بمراجعة سياسات المؤسّسات العامة والخاصّة لناحية التدقيق في عدم السماح لأي شخص – موظفاً كان ام مديراً – بتجاوز الأعراف المعمول بها عالمياً لمحاربة التمييز العنصري. لذلك فإننا نحثّ المؤسّسات العامّة و الخاصّة التي تتبنّى سياسات مناهضة للسلوك العنصري بمراجعتها و الحرص على تطبيقها و للّتي لا تتبنّاها بأن تقرّ سياسات كهذه بشكل عاجل وفوري، الأمر الذي يحول دون المساس بصورة لبنان دولة حضارية وديمقراطية عربيّا، اقليميّاً و دولياً في التعامل الحضاري والإنساني وفقاً لشرعة حقوق الإنسان العالمية الموقعة من الدولة اللبنانية في العام 1948. 


ثالثاً: تعلن حركة مناهضة العنصرية في لبنان عن دعمها و تشجيعها لأي شاهد(ة)/ضحية لأحداث عنصرية – و لو باسم مستعار او هوية مجهولة – التصريح بها لدى اعضاء حركتنا و داعميها و ذلك بهدف كسر حاجز الخوف و التجرّأ على البوح للوصول أخيراّ الى تعييب لا بل تجريم السلوك العنصري ولاستئصال السكوت عن كافة أنواع التمييز العنصري من الذهنية السائدة في مجتمعنا. 


شاكرين لكم تجاوبكم واهتمامكم، 
اعضاء حركة مناهضة العنصرية في لبنان 


للتصريح عن حادث الرجاء الأتصال بنا على: 
هاتف: 76350284
بريد الألكتروني: antiracismlb@gmail.com
صفحة الفيسبوك: http://www.facebook.com/ARMLeb 

Friday, October 12, 2012

تلفزيون الجديد: أنا واللبناني على عاملة المنزل الأجنبية، وأنا وعاملة المنزل الأجنبية على العامل الأجنبي

Wissam from Ethiopian Suicides writes today:

في تقريره السيئ والمغلوط والذي زيّف وقائع حادثة الإعتداء على العمال الأجانب، قام تلفزيون الجديد باستعمال شهادات لعاملات منزل أجنبيات، إضافة لشهادات اللبنانيين، لاتهام العمال الأجانب من مصريين وسوريين وغيرهم بالقيام باعتداءات على النساء والبنات.

تطبيقا لمبدأ "أنا وأخي على ابن عمي, وأنا وابن عمي على الغريب"، عندما يعتدي اللبناني على عاملة المنزل الأجنبية، يكون اللبناني مظلوما ومتهم زورا. أما عندما يكون الأجنبي متهم، فهو مدان. وعندها تصلح شهادة عاملات المنزل الأجنبيات لإثبات التهمة.

يعطيك العافية منتجة التقرير راشيل كرم.

هذا هو التقرير:


حضرت في التوقيت الخاطئ

Not sure how much of a true story it is. But what if it really was?
Link to the source, Mo5tar.

ما أن خرجت زوجة خميس من منزلها الزوجي قاصدة السوق لشراء بعض الحاجيات وتركت زوجها وصديقه سمير يرتشفان القهوة، حتى بدأ الصديقان يتحدثا عن مغامراتهما العاطفيّة والجنسيّة، في حديث أثار غريزة كل منهما وتمنّيا لو يمارسا الجنس مع إحدى الفتيات فوراً.. في تلك اللحظة قُرع الباب وإذ بفتاة من التابعية البنغلادشيّة تسأل عن زوجة خميس، فسارعا إلى دعوتها للدخول بعد إعلامها أنّ الزوجة ستعود بعد دقائق كونها نزلت لشراء العصير من الدكّان.
لم يكترث خميس لإمكانيّة عودة زوجته الى المنزل. عمد وبالاشتراك مع صديقه الى الإمساك جيداً بـ"فريستهما" التي إنقضا عليها وراحا يمارسان الجنس معها بالإكراه. لمّا علا صراخها أقدما على خنقها وأخفيا جثتها في متخت المنزل، تمهيداً لنقلها وإخفائها ثم حرقها.
وذكرت وقائع القرار الظني أنّه بتاريخ 29/5/2012، حضرت المغدورة الى منزل خميس وتواجد في المنزل سمير، حيث استغلا غياب زوجة الأول عن المنزل وعمدا الى تكبيل المغدورة ومارسا الجنس معها ومن ثم قاما باستعمال العنف معها وتهديدها. وخوفاً من افتضاح أمرهما نتيجة صراخها، قاما بخنقها بواسطة شال كان بحوزتها.  وعلى إثر مفارقتها الحياة أخفاياها في متخت المنزل، تمهيداً لنقل الجثة لاحقاً عندما يسمح الظرف بذلك. في اليوم الثاني، قام خميس بلفّ الجثة بسجادة ونقلها بواسطة عربة الى مكب نفايات في منطقة جبل لبنان ثم قام بحرقها بعد سكب مادة البنزين على الجثة.
اعترف خميس خلال  التحقيقات الأوليّة، بقيامه بالاشتراك مع سمير على قتل المغدورة وإحراق جثّتها، إلا أنّه افاد بممارسته الجنس معها برضاها، أما سمير فأنكر اشتراكه مع الأول بعملية القتل وإحراق الجثة فضلاً عن ممارسة الجنس مع المغدورة.
وطلب قاضي التحقيق في جبل لبنان، في قرار اتهامي، عقوبة الإعدام لكل من خميس وسمير وأحالهما للمحاكمة.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

الجيش: للاتصال بالقوى الامنية في حالات التعدي من قبل العمال الاجانب

اعلنت قيادة الجيش - مديرية التوجيه في بيان انه "الحاقا لبيانها السابق، تؤكد قيادة الجيش مواصلة عمليات الدهم والتحقيق في الاماكن التي يشتبه بايوائها عمالا اجانب من جنسيات مختلفة، يقومون بالتعدي على حرمات المواطنين والاساءة اليهم، وتشير الى انها تلقت ولا تزال اتصالات كثيرة من الاهالي في مختلف المناطق اللبنانية، يطالبون فيها بقمع التحرش والاعتداء على الشابات والشبان في الاحياء السكنية، لذا تدعو قيادة الجيش جميع الذين تلحق بهم اساءات من اي نوع كان الى الاتصال بالقوى الامنية والعسكرية، بغية التدخل السريع ووضع حد لها، وتشدد هذه القيادة على استمرارها في عملها الامني عملا بما تقضيه مصلحة المواطنين".

This is Insane!

The Insanity Continues

In this same week, the MEA scandal followed by the Military attack on Syrian and Sudanese workers double scandal.

Read more on:

Now Lebanon
Ashrafieh residents support army against migrant workers
In Jeitawi, little empathy for migrants

Al-Akhbar English
HRW calls for prosecution of army officials behind migrants' assault

Plight of Ghanaians in Lebanon

Ghana Web

Some Ghanaians in the past have seen the consulate, Michel S. Haddad, to file complaints to him. However nothing seems to change. I mean how do you expect a Lebanese to go against his own people? Yet, this man has been in charge of the welfare of Ghanaians and solving any issues that our people cannot overcome on their own for several years. Ghanaians complain bitterly about this consulate and are desperately pleading to get a new one, one who is theirs, one who is like them…a Ghanaian, for who is there to project their voices?

الجيش: نرفض التطاول على المؤسسة تحت غطاء حقوق العمال الأجانب

To kill yourself or to kill yourself.

Al-Nashra

أعلنت قيادة الجيش في بيان أنه "بعدما تكاثرت شكاوى المواطنين في منطقة الأشرفية - محلة الجعيتاوي بسبب ممارسات عمال أجانب من جنسيات مختلفة، وتعديهم على المارة وقيامهم بأعمال سرقة وأفعال مخلة بالآداب العامة، عمدت دورية تابعة لمديرية المخابرات ليل الأحد - الاثنين الفائت، معززة بقوة عسكرية، بدهم أماكن سكنهم حيث فوجئت القوة العسكرية بمقاومة هؤلاء العمال ومواجهتهم بعنف للعناصر المولجة التدقيق بإجازات عملهم وهوياتهم، وقد حصل جرّاء ذلك أعمال ضرب وتدافع بالقوة، وقد القي القبض على أحد عشر عاملاً من جنسيات مختلفة وإحالتهم إلى التحقيق".

وأشارت قيادة الجيش إلى أنها إذ تأسف لان يتم تناول ضبط الأمن في المناطق الآهلة بعد مراجعات الأهالي المستمرة بتشويه عملها، على رغم أن ضبط الأمن الداخلي ليس من مهامها، وهي إذ تأسف لأي عمل أمني قد يطال بعض الأبرياء من العمال، إلاّ أنها ترفض التطاول على المؤسسة تحت غطاء حقوق العمال الأجانب، لان حقوقهم لا يجب أن تكون على حساب المواطنين والمواطنات الذين طاولتهم التحرشات، وهي تدعو المؤسسات الإنسانية ووسائل الإعلام إلى تقصي الحقائق برمتها والإتصال بقيادة الجيش لتوضيح ما يمكن أن يكون قد إلتبس عليها بدلاً من إثارة الرأي العام، والإلتفات إلى الممارسات الشاذة التي تشهدها المناطق السكنية.

عمال سوريون ومصريون يتعرضون للضرب

Video by Omar Harkous.
Military denies responsibility so far.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MEA fires female employee involved in racist incident

Daily Star

BEIRUT: Middle East Airlines has fired the female staff member involved in a racist incident over the weekend, according to a company official.

The airline said Tuesday on its Facebook page that “severe disciplinary action” had been taken against the two staff members involved in the incident, but an anonymous MEA official told the Associated Press that the female employee had been dismissed.

The punishment followed an online petition demanding an apology from MEA after a flier, Abed Shaheen, witnessed an MEA employee singling out Filipino and Nepalese customers over the loudspeaker Saturday evening at the Beirut airport, instructing them to be quiet and laughing at them in a mocking way. Her male colleague was encouraging her, Shaheen said.

Shaheen blogged about the event and it gained widespread Internet exposure.

In the statement published Tuesday, the state-owned company said that “This type of behavior represents an isolated case, and is 100 percent against MEA’s policy. It does not fit within MEA’s culture, and furthermore goes contrary to our training procedures.”

However, many MEA customers commented that the airline should have also made a public apology and others demanded that the individual staff members be named.

Michelle Hatem commented that, “Racism is not to be tolerated and especially among MEA staff. As a Lebanese citizen I am proud of MEA and I would like to see the appropriate consequence taken to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Mazen Hajjar added, “How about some transparency and explaining who they were or at least what action was taken? This is a joke and reflective of a culture of no accountability. It is your duty to inform us as clients what action was taken. You are owned by the Lebanese people through the Central Bank and you need to come clean with us.”

Army must be held to account for violent raid on migrants: HRW


DailyStar

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army must investigate raids on the residence of migrant workers Sunday during which dozens of men were beaten, Human Rights Watch said.
“We want an investigation into the incident and we want those responsible to be held to account,” Nadim Houry, the Human Rights Watch deputy director for Middle East and North Africa, told The Daily Star Tuesday.
The Lebanese Army entered at least two locations in Beirut’s Geitawi district Sunday night occupied by migrant workers, where they proceeded to restrain and beat the residents before leaving several hours later, according to the workers, local eyewitnesses and HRW.
Men at one of the residences told The Daily Star that Army personnel had arrived at around 9:30 p.m. and rounded up around 150 men, taking them into the corridor of the building and beating each one with sticks, as well as kicking, punching and slapping them.
“It was more like torture,” one man told The Daily Star.
“We were told not to speak. Everyone was beaten up. They said ‘anyone with a problem, don’t talk about it,’” he said.
Houry reported that he had spoken to one 43-year-old man who feared his rib had been broken, but who could not afford to go to a doctor.
A local resident said she was told to “close their door and let [the Army] do their job,” but that she could hear the sound of beatings from her apartment.
Another local resident said he saw both Army personnel and plain clothed officers at the location, and that he could see around 15 workers held with their hands tied behind their heads, and heard the sound of slapping and insults directed toward the men, which went on for around three hours.
The men, who are mostly Syrian but also Sudanese, were given no explanation when the soldiers arrived and were not interrogated. They were told not to speak, and not to look at the soldiers’ faces.
“While they were beating us they were saying we were doing unethical stuff with women,” one man said, but no arrests were made, he added.
“If this was about a specific incident, they would go for [that person], they wouldn’t go for 100 of us,” another added.
Houry said the incident had no resemblance to an official investigation.
“All of them were released, none were taken. Clearly these were not national security threats,” he said.
“They stormed the door and started beating them. It was almost like a hazing as opposed to an arrest or investigation,” Houry added.
An Army source denied the raids had occurred.
“We would have read about it in newspapers,” the source said. “The word assault is out of the question. We never assault people.”
Houry, who also spoke to men at a separate location in Geitawi, said similar incidents had occurred recently, one at a construction site near Ashrafieh, and another in the Burj Hammoud district, but that they had been “nothing like what happened on Sunday.”
“This is not the first time we have documented Lebanese security forces or Army being violent, but this is the first time we have seen it on this scale and in that way,” he said. “I am shocked and baffled by what happened. From all I know it strikes me as a purely xenophobic attack with no basis in law.”
But he added that “I don’t want to speculate [about the reason behind the raid.] I want to let the Army explain this illegal behavior.”
The men The Daily Star spoke to said they were afraid the Army might come back, and that several had left the residence out of fear. There were reports that local media had been told by police not to film.
The majority of local residents declined to speak about the incident, but those that did said they had had no problem with the workers. “We have a good relationship with these guys. Sometimes we argue about small stuff like water, but in general it’s good,” one resident said.
Houry added that the “the Army operates with a lot of impunity in Lebanon, but that must change.”
“We want this investigation to shed light on the incident,” he said, “and we hope that the code of silence is not going to be applied.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Migrant Communities' Handicrafts Market


Thanks Shantal!

MEA: Not good enough!

Another article on the MEA response.
Check Now Lebanon's full piece here.

Thank You Note

We believe we speak for all Lebanese people who are against racism, when we say that we are proud of what Abed Shaheen did this week. He witnessed a shameless act of racism by MEA staff in Beirut International Airport on October 6th, and instead of staying silent, he took it upon himself to launch a full-fledged campaign to expose the incident, to file complaints, to make sure it is properly investigated, and to pressure MEA to publicly apologize for the its staff’s behaviour and ensure that such an incident is not repeated.

He has been spending a considerable amount of his time and energy to take this case as far as it will go, and to try to put an end to this culture of silence and impunity.

Abed, your dedication and follow-through are an inspiration to us. If there were more people like you in Lebanon, we (the Anti-Racism Movement) would no longer need to exist.

MEA's Second Reply

To our loyal fans and customers,

Having investigated the issue that occurred on the 6th October, 2012 at Rafik Hariri Intl. Airport - Beirut, which involved misbehavior by a MEAG (subsidiary of MEA) passenger service agent, we would like to issue the following statement.

This type of behavior represents an isolated case, and is 100% against MEA’s policy.

It does not fit within MEA’s culture, a

nd furthermore goes contrary to our training procedures.

Severe disciplinary action has been taken against the staff concerned.

Kindly rest assured that our goal is to attain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Yours sincerely,
The MEA Team
 

Wake the fuck up you racist bastards

Toom Extra, thank you!

Oh look at them! How beautiful, stylish and open-minded they are!
They are even dancing on bars, oh wow, so cool! They all go to universities and get at least a Masters Degree!
They all are managers or directors. Oh my God how do they do it?!
The Lebanese are so great, we so want to be like them!

Yeah, this is what you think people are saying about you, you silly superficial bastards, but the whole world is talking about how racist you are, about how stupid and arrogant you are.Who do you think you are?
Do you think you were born from a golden imperial egg, or that you're superior to the Human race?
Just give me a reason! I need a fucking reason!

Why do you think you're too special and can't sit next to an Ethiopian?
Why do you think you can ban an Indian tourist from swimming in your pools?
And now it's gone too far... you're banning Filipinos and Nepalese from talking in the airport lounge?!
These same people raised your children, fed them, and tucked them into bed while you were tucking yourself in another bed with your lover.

MEA should present excuses to both the Philippines and Nepal embassies.
MEA should be ashamed of hiring such people.

I don't know why they act that way? I really don't know, I have mixed feelings of anger and sadness, I just want to cry, I feel ashamed.

I have an Indian friend who wishes to come to Lebanon, and I've been postponing it for two years now, I don't know what to tell her... like" I am sorry if you come, you'll have to wait for me outside the bar, or you're going to be asked to wash the dishes"...

Wake up people!! I so want to slap you all, one after the other, so bad, maybe I can break your arrogance gene...
Wake up people, we are all born equal, it's not the color of your skin, your education level or your work title that make you better than the rest!
We all belong to the same race, and it's the Fucking Human race. WAKE THE FUCK UP!

MEA probes complaint of racism at airport

Daily Star

It is now imperative that MEA produce internal policy or staff training which will prevent the recurrence of such an incident, Houry adds, but he believes the whole system at the airport needs to be broken down.

“If MEA staff members see General Security staff treating migrant domestic workers as second class citizens,” Houry says, this mentality will spread.

“They all have to know that there is no space for discrimination anymore.”

Lebanese Special Forces Attack Legal Migrants

This article makes you want to cry. Burn your passport. Suffocate in your inability to give justice to those who were harmed by people whom your taxes are paying for end of each month.
Read it and judge.

NowLebanon


The Lebanese army entered an apartment rented by mostly Syrian workers in the Beirut neighborhood of Jeitawi on Sunday night, beating them for hours. Four people had to be treated in hospitals, while seven Sudanese men who were in Lebanon illegally were detained.
As NOW reporters looked on from an adjacent balcony, Lebanese army soldiers could be seen rounding up the Syrians and beating them with sticks and belts. At one point the Syrians were sent into the courtyard of the building. Afterward, they were forced to run up the staircase of the building one after the other. There, four men in civilian clothes waited for them, punching them in their faces and on their heads.
Once they were taken to the roof of the building, the Syrians were forced to kneel down, hands behind their backs, before being beaten again. Others were kicked in the abdomen while lying on the floor. The sound of objects hitting bodies and subsequent screams and moans could be heard across the street. The operation lasted for about four hours.
The soldiers, apparently belonging to the army’s Special Forces, yelled at people in surrounding buildings not to watch.
When NOW approached the building this morning, two Syrians who were present last night agreed to speak to reporters at a nearby park. There, nervously glancing over their shoulders, they said that “There is still an intelligence officer in the building.”
One of the Syrians interviewed had a plate-sized bruise on his back. “We were sitting in our rooms, when they stormed in and started hitting us,” he told NOW. “They didn’t say why, they just yelled ‘Watan! Watan!’ [State! State!].”
“We are here legally,” he added, producing his immigration card with a visa valid until 2013. “And most of us have jobs. I work in a supermarket every day.”
According to the two Syrians, seven Sudanese men who were in the apartment at the time of the raid were arrested, as they had no valid visas.
The soldiers warned the men not to talk to the press. According to the two Syrian men interviewed, shortly after the operation a man approached the house, saying that he was a journalist with Voice of Lebanon radio station and began asking questions. Minutes later, the intelligence officer told the Syrian man, “Didn’t we tell you not to talk to the media?”
The reasons behind the operation remain unclear. A military spokesmen contacted by NOW declined to comment.
A man who lives in the area complained to NOW this morning that the Syrians “Come from rural areas and don’t know how to behave themselves,” and that they were “harassing girls and women.” Locals have filed similar complaints with police in the past.
Last Monday, October 1, a similar incident happened close to Sassine Square. Several army vehicles and a car with tinted windows blocked off the street surrounding a construction site, people living in the area reported.
“There are Syrians working and sleeping in the building,” an onlooker who preferred to remain anonymous said. “We could hear wailing from inside the construction site. At one point they walked a man out of the building, hands tied behind his back, as a soldier kicked him in the legs. A second one was slapped while being walked to the car with tinted windows.”
Nadim Houry, deputy director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, arrived at the scene of the latest incident around midnight Sunday. “There is a disturbing pattern of Lebanese army forces violently going against migrants,” he told NOW, noting another incident last month in Bourj Hammoud.
“It’s troubling to see elite forces being deployed in residential areas in such a secretive manner,” Houry added. “Some of the Syrians had been living here for years, and there were obviously no arrest warrants.”
The two Syrian men from the building said they would go into hiding after their conversations with NOW, fearing repercussions.

Monday, October 8, 2012

MEA's First Reply

To our loyal customers and fans,

We are aware of the purported incident that took place on the 6th October 2012 at Beirut International Airport, and appreciate your patience while a full investigation by MEA is underway. Please rest assured that MEAs policy is not to tolerate discriminatory or racist behavior in any form from our employees, and that appropriate measures will be taken once the facts of the incident are brought to light.

Yours sincerely,
The MEA Team


Their fb page

MEA, again

So, yesterday, another post, originally on twitter, went viral all over the local online world, here, with more than 600 shares in the first 24 hours- a post about a horrendous case of discrimination and racism by MEA staff.

You can read all about the story here and a few of the angry, rightfully very angry, comments.

Many people are taking personal initiatives to hold MEA accountable to what they did, or what they did not do really (by accepting to keep such unprofessional, disrespectful staff on board).

We will keep you posted on what we will do. If you would like to join efforts and act on this one, send us an email to antiracismlb@gmail.com

Sad. True. Long Way.

Ethiopian Suicides

Sunday like any other day for this migrant domestic worker
I took these pictures today, on a Sunday, while heading back home from a family gathering. While all Lebanese (and virtually all residents in Lebanon) were enjoying a day off, this domestic worker was just doing her work. Despite 3 years of activism and advocacy for essential labor rights for migrant domestic workers, the "system" has not changed much. (Wissam)



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

استنسابية التوزيع تثير حساسية اهالي الاطفال الفلسطينيين

بيان صحفي

استنسابية التوزيع تثير حساسية اهالي الاطفال الفلسطينيين
وتصف قرار وزارة التربية بالعنصري

قرار وزير التريبة بتوزيع الكتاب المدرسي مجانا على طلاب المدارس الرسمية والتمييز الحاصل تجاه الطلبة الفلسطينيين والتوزيع الاستنسابي للكتب على الطلاب اللبنانيين مجانا، وابلغت الطلاب الفلسطينيين أنّ على ذويهم القيام بشراء كتبهم على نفقتهم الخاصة لان توزيع الكتب مجانا سيطال فقط الطلاب اللبنانيين، وقد اثار هذا القرار استياء اهالي الطلبة الفلسطينيين ووصفه بالقرار العنصري والجائر بحق اطفالهم وبحقهم ايضا وان الانعكاسات النفسية على عطاءات ابنائهم ستكون سلبية وستشعرهم بالاحباط نتيجة التمييز الذي مورس ضدهم.

خاصة وان المادة 2 من اتفاقية حقوق الطفل والتي تنادي بعدم التمييز وتنص على "ان جميع الحقوق تنطبق على سائر الاطفال بدون استثناء بغض النظر عن عنصر الطفل او لونه او لغته او جنسه او دينه او اصله القومي او الاثني او الاجتماعي او ثروته او عجزه.
كما وان المادة 28 من الاتفاقية تنص على ان "للطفل الحق بالتعليم وعلى الدولة جعل التعليم الابتدائي مجانيا والزاميا وتشجيع وتوفير الاشكال المختلفة من التعليم الثانوي لكل طفل وتيسير حصوله على التعليم العالي بناء على قدراته.وينبغي على الاجراءات المدرسية الا تتعارض مع حقوق الطفل وكرامته".

لذلك فإننا في جمعية عمل تنموي بلا حدود "نبع" ندين بشدّة هذا القرار المتخذ بحق الاطفال الفلسطينيين من قبل وزارة التربية اللبنانية ونعتبره انتهاكا صارخا للمواثيق والاعراف والاتفاقيات الدولية لحقوق الانسان بشكل عام ولحقوق الطفل بشكل خاص والتي تنادي بالمساواة بين البشر وعدم التمييز فيما بينهم والتمتع بجميع الحقوق المنصوص عليها في هذه المواثيق دون تمييز فيما بينهم لا على اساس ديني ولا جنسي ولا على اساس اللون والعرق او الاعاقة.

وندعوا السلطة اللبنانية ممثّلة بمجلس الوزراء وبالاخص وزارة التربية اللبنانية وعلى راسها معالي الوزير حسان دياب الى متابعة الموضوع وحلّه حتى يتمتع الاطفال الفلسطينيين المسجلين في المدارس الرسمية بكامل الحقوق التي يتمتع بها غيرهم من الطلبة دون اي تمييز او اجحاف يطالهم، وذلك بناءا على التزامات لبنان تجاه المواثيق والاعراف والمعاهدات والاتفاقيات الدولية الذي اعلن لبنان التزامه بها وخاصة الاعلان العالمي لحقوق الانسان والاتفاقية الدولية لحقوق الطفل والتي تنص صراحة على تمتع جميع المتواجدين على الاراضي اللبنانية بحق التعليم دون تمييز
 
Email h.hamzi@nabaa-lb.org for more details.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Untie the knot!

Video footage on last week's flash mob to end sponsorship for migrant domestic workers.

Read more on Kafa's work here and on their website. We love Kafa!

The Migrant Communities' Handicrafts Market


Join us on Sunday October 7th for the first ever Migrant Communities' Handicrafts Market! There will be beautiful handmade crafts, paintings, coffee, food and other great items on sale! Ten Asian and African communities will have stands full of goodies for you to choose from!

5 to 9 PM.

Get your friends and loved ones and come have a delicious dinner. Too many options to chose from.

Email antiracismlb@gmail.com or mccbeirut@gmail.com for more info.

Or call 01 565 442.


Venue: Nasawiya - Medawar Bldg, Fleming Street, off the Mar Mikhael main road, Beirut, Lebanon