BEIRUT – Thursday 9 June 2022
Legal Action Worldwide (LAW), an international human rights NGO, has issued a ground-breaking report titled “They raped us in every possible way, in ways you can’t imagine: Gendered Crimes During the Lebanese Civil Wars,”. This is the first preliminary investigation of its kind into the nature and trends of gendered crimes committed by armed parties during the Lebanese Civil Wars (1975–1990). Commissioned by UN Women, the report amplifies the voices of victims and survivors of crimes perpetrated during this time period and seeks to contribute to ongoing efforts to acknowledge the varied gendered impact of the civil war, and support national bodies and organisations to deal with Lebanon’s past.
Antonia Mulvey, LAW Executive Director said: “If victims and survivors have the courage to speak out, we must have the courage to tell their stories. This is the first step in establishing the truth and laying a solid foundation for a new Lebanon“.
The main findings are demonstrated as follows:
- Sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, mass rape, gang rape, genital mutilation, sexualized torture, and humiliation including electrocution of breasts and genital area, forced nudity, and forced prostitution.
- Killing and abduction as women, girls and infants including pregnant women and fetuses were killed and abducted by armed state actors, state and non-state armed militiamen.
- Gendered impact of enforced disappearances of men had a gendered impact on women and girls with negative economic, social and security implications.
- Family violence as women and girls suffered family violence including beatings and verbal and sexual abuse by husbands and male family members due to the prolonged psychological effects of the wars.
- Role of women in the militias, women and girls played an important role as part of armed militia groups in various non-combatant capacities.
“With this report, we are seeking to contribute to the body of work produced in Lebanon that shines a spotlight on the gendered impact of Lebanon’s civil war, and its long-lasting legacy – which includes today’s heightened levels of violence against women and continued stigma for those who survived these crimes. Without acknowledging and understanding the past, we cannot build a peaceful and stable future”, said Rachel Dore-Weeks, Head of UN Women Lebanon.
For further details, please contact Fatima Shehadeh, Lebanon Programme Manager, at Shehade@legalactionworldwide.org
Watch the Gendered War Crimes video portraying stories of survivors: