Lebanese soldiers atop armored vehicles patrol in Yammouneh, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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A member of State Security was arrested this week on suspicion of being gay, a spokesperson from the agency confirmed Wednesday, after reports in local media said security agencies were undertaking a "campaign" to "combat homosexuality" in security forces. A State Security spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Star that a male member of the agency – "not of a high rank" – had been arrested earlier in the week for "homosexuality," which she said contravened the internal laws of the organization. However, Genwa Samahat, executive director of LGBTQ rights group Helem, said cases involving members of Lebanon's security agencies would fall outside the realm of these civil rulings, as their personnel would be prosecuted in military courts.Samahat told The Daily Star that Helem was still trying to verify whether a spate of arrests had taken place, and whether the arrests came as part of a "purification movement," within state security agencies.She said there were previous individual cases of arrests targeting gay people in government institutions, but said that it would be a serious move if there was indeed a concerted campaign underway.
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