A conference on arbitrary detention in Beirut, Friday, April 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon's criminal justice system is blighted by arbitrary detention, arbitrary arrest, lengthy pretrial detention and long delays in trial, according to a report issued by a local human rights organization.The research revealed a disturbing but unsurprising pattern of arbitrary arrests due to corruption, an inadequate legal framework and a lack of trained law enforcement officers, part of the legacy of the country's postwar recovery that failed to rebuild its crippled institutions, now disproportionately affecting some of the most vulnerable people in Lebanon – migrant workers, addicts, homosexuals, alleged terrorists, alleged spies, bloggers and journalists.For members of the gay community, speaking up about arbitrary detention can be particularly problematic.Samira Khoujouk, executive director of the LGBT rights group Helem, acknowledged that there had recently been some progress in recognizing gay rights – such as in the public condemnation of the medical anal tests of suspected homosexuals in detention and the recognition of the lifestyle as "natural" by the Lebanese Psychologists' Association.
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