The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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September 26, 2016

The Daily Star- Women’s rights campaign condemns Bassil’s remarks, September 26 , 2016

BEIRUT: The “My Nationality is My Dignity” campaign slammed Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil Sunday for “discriminatory” comments regarding laws prohibiting Lebanese women from passing on their citizenship.
During a protest at Riad al-Solh Square, campaign coordinator Mustafa Shaar said he was shocked by the minister’s recent remarks. “We are used to the racism of Lebanese politicians, but what was shocking for us was talking publicly about discrimination in international forums,” Shaar said, according to the National News Agency.
In a speech he gave in New York this month, Bassil said he supports allowing Lebanese women to pass their nationality on to their spouses and children in principle, but suggested that those married to Palestinians and Syrians should be excluded. He later tweeted about the contents of the speech.
“I am for the right of women married to a foreigner to pass the Lebanese nationality to their children, but our constitution and our composition do not allow granting citizenship to 400,000 Palestinians,” said Bassil, who also heads the Free Patriotic Movement, in a tweet dated Sept. 17.
In another tweet, the minister said, “I am for the endorsement of a law allowing a woman to pass on nationality to her children, but with the exception of Syrians and Palestinians, [in order] to protect our land.”
Lebanese women married to foreigners are currently not allowed to pass on their citizenship to their husbands and children, a right many have demanded for years.
Speaking during the protest, Shaar questioned Bassil’s motives.
“We are talking about the children of Lebanese mothers and not people who came from another planet. Playing the demography card will not work, as most Lebanese dream of emigrating at the earliest opportunity,” he said, addressing the minister.
“Your excuses are becoming old. Sometimes it is the Palestinian refugees and other times it is the Syrian refugees.”
Shaar said that the children of women married to foreigners have been born and raised in Lebanon and it is the only country they know, reiterating a position held by a number of groups pressing for the extension of rights.
Political parties have cited demographic and sectarian concerns to justify the restriction, claiming that overturning it could disrupt the country’s delicate sectarian makeup. They reference Palestinians in particular, who are predominantly Sunni.
There are also currently more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and politicians have voiced fears that the international committee could try to pressure the government to naturalize them.
This is not the first time Bassil has been met with criticism over his stance on the issue, particularly after he pushed for the extension of citizenship to descendants of the Lebanese diaspora.

Source & Link : The Daily Star

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