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Lebanese security authorities closed down the Plaza Cinema, a gay cinema in Beirut, on Saturday and arrested 36 male customers, performing anal probes on them. (http://gactupdate.wordpress.com/)
Clarification for people who think Helem is doing nothing for the 36 arrested individuals in Cinema Plaza

in LEBANON, 03/08/2012

The day we heard the news we started our calls to be able to reach the arrested guys and offer them our legal support.

One of our dedicated member was appointed to call Hbeish station. Our call was to try avoiding the shameful anal testing from being performed and urge the authority to appoint lawyers for the arrested individuals . On Tuesday we were able to know that the 36 persons have been already subject to the shameful anal tests. The news stations knew about it after contacting us.

After the tests, a group was released because "the tests where negative" as the police officer reported. We were not allowed to get more information on that day.

Today and from the early morning we were contacting Hbeish office and we knew that all the remaining people were sent to the general persecution office.

Our lawyer were waiting there and 3 of the guys appointed her to defend them in court. We also knew that each of the arrested individuals had to pay 125000L.L. for the performed test.

Tomorrow we will be having another meeting at our lawyer office to see how we can push forward in order to put an end to the degrade and inhuman arrest under article 534 and the shameful anal test people are going through. We will be discussing the action plan.

We want to thank all the Lebanese Media who called us for their proper coverage and all the supporters who called us and offered their help. We would like also to thank the Lebanese LGBT media monitor who was closely following up the news and gathering all the related articles and videos.

To all the LGBT community, allies, friends and supporters thanks again!

You're the one who lead the fight.

To all our staff members, members and volunteers thanks for putting all your efforts and for the tremendous work you have been doing for the past four days.

We welcome everyone tomorrow at our weekly meeting in order to explain more Helem strategy and work on this matter. The meeting is at 6:30 at Helem Community Center.

Please note that on Facebook Helem is responsible only of the information posted by HelemLebanonLgbtq user or Official Page for Helem. Helem current executive Director is Charbel Maydaa and he is the only person appointed to represent Helem in the media on this matter. Any other views are considered personal point of viewa and does not relate to Helem Organization.

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