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January 28, 2012

Sexual Harassment in Lebanon's parliament!

January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012


(Photo: A list of Lebanese MPs who opposed the law to protect women)

Ghassan S'oud, an Al-Akhbar columnist, wrote an excellent piece on sexual harassment in Lebanon’s parliament. This scandal comes after the Parliament rejected a proposed law to protect women from violence; Lebanon’s civil society was heavily disappointed and issued a list of shame which included MPs from various political movements, including Future movement (pro-American, Saudi) and Hezbollah (pro-Iranian, Syrian). (The list of MPs in the parliamentary committee includes the following names: Sameer Jisr, Nabeel Nicholas, Michel El-Helou, Gilbert Zouin, Ghassan Moukheiber, Ali Ammar, Imad Hout, Ali Osseiran, Shant Gengian)
Here are some bullet points of Aziz’s article:
* An MP took a lift with a female reporter from almanar; a male citizen refused to take the lift due to space limitation. The MP told the journalist: “he was afraid to get horny” then he looked at her breasts and said “maybe he is right, you’re sexy”. “You have no morals”, she replied. The same MP approached a female employee at the Parliament and told her about his recent hospital experience, then quickly threw in a sleazy sex joke, “the most important thing is to go in, then out”.
* Another MP kept asking a journalist who asked for an interview “what is the price”, then he wondered whether she provides “special services”.
* An MP was interviewed by a female journalist wearing a pair of shorts; for the following two weeks, he repeatedly asked friends and colleagues whether he committed “a mistake by not touching her thighs”.
The article contains many such examples. Of course, the Lebanese media will not follow on with investigative stories, as all outlets are owned by politicians and their friends.

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