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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Monitoring MPs’ Human Rights and Free Speech Positions – December 2022

Thursday , 09 February 2023
Photo credit: Ali Fawwaz

Background and Context


In December 2022, several Members of Parliament (MPs) shared statements via Twitter and Facebook related to human rights, with a particular focus on freedom of expression and women’s rights. The total number of statements reached 82, which can be considered a relatively high number compared to past months as shared in prior reports. This is due to the following developments:


  • December 3 was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and December 10 was the International Human Rights Day.
  • December 12 was the memorial day of Gebran Tuéni’s assassination.
  • On December 19, the non-governmental organization Kafa collaborated with several MPs who submitted a new draft for a unified personal status law in Lebanon.
  • On December 27, a failed Molotov cocktail was thrown at Al Jadeed television’s headquarters. On the day after, bullets were fired at the building. This happened after many condemned the channel and the actress Joanna Karaky who appeared in a comedy show “Fashet Kheleq” and made a sketch against the backdrop of the killing of the Irish United Nations peacekeeper.




Statements are extracted from the 128 parliamentarians’ social media platforms monitored on a regular basis throughout the month. For the month of December, we monitored data for all 31 days for the month (December 1-31, 2022).


As shown in the data displayed below, parliamentarians from different political groups have shared opinions and thoughts in the scope of various matters related to human rights. Taking that into account, and considering the context elaborated above, statements were, for the first time, broken down by themes (rights) and then some of these were desegregated into sub-themes.


Data Display  

In the process of gathering this data, we insist that the information provided cannot be considered comprehensive, but more or less should allow us to put forth possible hypotheses about how human rights and especially freedom of expression are being brought up in the public political conversation.

Figure 1. Distribution of data across Members of Parliament

Figure 2. Distribution of data across political parties and groups

Figure 3. Distribution of data across non-sectarian opposition political parties and groups

Figure 4. Distribution of data across type of statement

Figure 5. Distribution of data based on group type

Figure 6. Distribution of data across theme of statement

Note. Statements related to these themes showed support to the causes (such as support for women’s rights, for the right to privacy, etc.). One only exception appeared and that is the refugees’ theme. Both statements in that regard were aiming to have refugees return to their home country.

Figure 7. Disaggregation of Theme “Freedom of Expression”


Figure 8. Disaggregation of Theme “Human Rights”

Figure 9. Disaggregation of Theme “Women’s Rights”

Table 1. Distribution of data across theme of statement and group name




During this month, parliamentarians showed unprecedented engagement in supporting freedom of expression (50% of all 82 statements) and women’s rights (19.5%).

This emerged from two events that occurred in December, one being a positive initiative with MPs signing a unified draft law for personal status laws (37.5% of all statements related to women’s rights), and another being an unfortunate attack on Al Jadeed television’s headquarters (41.5% of all statements related to freedom of expression).

Other factors like Gebran Tuéni’s assassination memorial day (36.6% of all statements related to freedom of expression) played an impactful role too, pushing parliamentarians to share thoughts and opinions.


It is important to finally note that ranking can be made using two methods:

  • The first method would be to compare the total numbers of statements made by political groups (Table 2 below).
  • The second method would be to compare the percentages of members (of each group) who made statements. In other words, SKF counted the numbers of MPs who made statements and belonged to one group, then SKF calculated their percentage compared to the total number of MPs who belong to the same group (Table 3 below).

Table 2. Ranking based on absolute numbers - from the political group with the most statements to the one with the least

As per the table, the Change MPs shared the most statements related to human rights in December 2022 (23 statements), while Hezbollah and ex-Future Movement MPs shared the least (1 statement shared by each of the two groups).

Table 3. Ranking based on relative numbers - from the political group with the highest percentage of members who made statements to the one with the lowest percentage

This ranking is based on every group’s total number of members in the current parliament. As per the table, 9 out of the 11 members of the Change group made statements related to human rights in December 2022 (82%). 3 out of 4 MPs from the Kataeb party made statements (75%). PSP and ex-Future Movement tied in this ranking as 12% of each group’s total number of MPs made statements.

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