Urgent Announcement: Helem has learned that the Hobeich police station has been arresting individuals in Beirut They are summoning contacts from detainees based on their WHATSAPP conversations to go down to the police station for questioning, said the organization’s warning.
“If you receive a phone call DO NOT GO, call 71 916 146 and Helem representatives will instruct you on what to do. DO NOT answer unknown numbers and save the Hobeich police station numbers on your phone so you can recognize them,” it said.
Police across the country are conducting search and raid operations targeting gay men and arresting them.
The operation began Aug 9 when police arrested 27 men at the Agha Hammam Turkish bath in the Hamra-Concord area of Beirut for alleged “gay sex” and “indecency.”
Same-sex relations is a criminal offence in Lebanon which Article 534 of the country’s legal code prohibiting it under relations that “contradict the laws of nature” and punishable by up to one year in prison.
Doctors hired by the police’s “Moral Protection Bureau” are known to resort to a humiliating test involving forcefully inserting an egg-shaped metal object into the rectum to determine if a man is gay even though the Lebanese Order of Physicians have described the method as useless and akin to torture.