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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Monitoring MPs’ Human Rights and Free Speech Positions – November 2023

Thursday , 14 December 2023
Photo credit: AFP/Mohammed Abed

Background and Context


In November 2023, the Israeli genocidal war on Palestinians in Gaza persisted. Since October 7, 2023, the death toll has surpassed 15,000 Palestinian civilians.


Throughout the month, a striking 89% of human rights-related statements issued by Lebanese Members of Parliament (MPs) were dedicated to addressing the severe human rights violations stemming from the recent tragedies perpetrated by Israel. These statements specifically highlighted concerns such as Palestinians’ rights, the targeted killings of journalists, and the loss of lives among Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.


The report intentionally omits statements related to Lebanon's Independence Day (November 22) as they do not pertain to human rights issues. However, it is noteworthy that a substantial majority of MPs did make statements on that occasion.




In November 2023, a total of 157 statements addressing human rights issues were issued by 52 MPs, disseminated through their personal accounts on X and Facebook.


These statements have been categorized into nine distinct topics. Interestingly, the first two topics align with those predominantly addressed in the preceding month:


  • Palestinians’ rights
  • Journalists’ safety (tackling specifically the killing of three Lebanese journalists by Israeli attacks)
  • Killing of civilians by Israeli attacks (including Palestinians in Gaza and Lebanese in the South of Lebanon)
  • Women’s rights
  • Freedom of expression
  • Repression on freedoms
  • Impunity
  • Beirut blast investigation
  • Human rights and double standards


Data Display


It is important to acknowledge that the data collected in this process may not be exhaustive. Nonetheless, despite its inherent limitations, the gathered data provides a foundation for generating hypotheses concerning the discourse surrounding human rights issues. This analysis specifically focuses on journalists’ rights and freedom of speech within the public political discourse throughout November 2023.


Figure 1. Distribution of data across Members of Parliament

Figure 2. Distribution of data across political parties and groups

Figure 3. Distribution of data based on group type


Figure 4. Distribution of data across theme of statement

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




Among the 157 statements, a significant emphasis was placed on the rights of Palestinians, comprising a total of 66 statements. Furthermore, 50 statements were dedicated to the killing of journalists by Israel, while 24 statements underscored the tragic loss of civilian lives, including Lebanese individuals in the South. The remaining statements delved into various other topics covered in previous months, such as women’s rights and freedom of expression.


To gain a deeper understanding of the political landscape and identify the most vocal groups in November 2023, an examination of the total count of statements made by each group proves insightful. The following tables provide an overview of these findings:



Table 2. Ranking based on absolute numbers - five political groups with highest numbers of statements


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


All MPs from the Dignity Movement, the Union Party, and the Marada Movement addressed human rights in their statements, related to the Israeli war on Gaza


Table 4. Ranking of the top-10 MPs who shared most statements from June 2022 till November 2023


In November 2023, echoing the trends of the preceding month, MP Paula Yacoubian once again emerged as the most prolific speaker on matters related to human rights, delivering a total of 11 statements. MP Yacoubian now ranks as the overall second-highest contributor in terms of human rights statements since the 2022 parliamentary election.


Our monitoring efforts since January 2023 reveal that MPs Mark Daou and Halime Kaakour have consistently secured positions in the top three MPs with the highest number of monthly statements.

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