Digital rights and free expression

This is a summary of the research and analysis on digital rights and free expression in Lebanon. At the bottom of the page, you will find links to key resources.

This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.


Digital rights groups report that the online space in Lebanon is closing. Since the protests that began in October 2019 of security forces confiscating mobile phones from protestors or forcing people to open them illegally. Detentions have increased, as have court cases against journalists and members of the public.

These trends have combined to create worrying levels of self-censorship, according to human rights and press freedom groups.


Support for organisations that closely monitor public institutions, and advocate for press public bodies to regularly communicate with citizens and abide by Access to Information laws.


Tech companies must be encouraged to take more responsibility in a region such as MENA where there are less and less democratic states. Some have called for more lawyers and technologists in these discussions.

What is already happening?

SMEX, SKeyes and Maharat and 12 other organisations launched a Coalition to Defend Freedom of Expression in July 2020.


Collaboration within Lebanese civil society - Media Censorship, 2016

Author: Leena Saidi

Publisher: Sharq for Citizen Development in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Available at:

This paper is written within the context of a project that aims to promote and enhance collaboration within social society in Lebanon. To that end, civil society organizations (CSOs) or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the domains of media freedom and the elimination of censorship (Sharq, KAS, Samir Kassir Eyes (SKeyes) Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, Social Media Exchange (SMEX), Media Association for Peace (MAP), May Chidiac Foundation and MARCH) were brought together for a roundtable to discuss the opportunities and challenges they face, both in general and in terms of collaboration with other organizations. The report provides a summary of the key findings of the roundtable with regard to the strengths and weaknesses of civil society actions and the opportunities for and challenges to collaboration among CSOs.

This article also gives an overview of the freedom of expression in Lebanon, stating that the State has repeatedly detained and silenced journalists, bloggers, activists, and artists in the name of legal justice using obsolete laws that fail to clearly define freedom of expression.

It outlines that Lebanese journalists often find it hard to reveal any form of corruption without worrying about legal penalties. Thus, there is increased demand for regulating media censorship and enhancing freedom of expression in Lebanon. In addition, the article provides examples of initiatives launched by civil society organizations towards eliminating censorship of the media and promoting freedom of speech.


This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.

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