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Lebanon

In Lebanon, Those 'Suspected Of Homosexuality' Face Brutal Police Examination

NGO's and activists are denouncing the way police officers strip and examine "suspects" to determine if they are homosexual, which is illegal in what many consider the Arab world's most open society.

The nightclub Acid is popular with Beirut's LGBT crowd (FB)
The nightclub Acid is popular with Beirut's LGBT crowd (FB)

BEIRUT - In the austere police station, after they are asked to undress, they are told to lean forward or crouch, submitting to a medical examination to determine their sexual orientation. Who are they? People suspected of homosexuality, a punishable offense in Lebanon, a country considered far more tolerant than other Arab countries.

This humiliating practice - well-known in homosexual circles - has recently been denounced by Lebanese associations. "We broke the silence," Nizar Saghieh says. He is a lawyer, activist and founder of the "Al-Moufakkira al-kanouniya" ("Legal Agenda") NGO, that organized a conference last month where these "examinations of shame" were denounced.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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