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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Monitoring MPs’ Human Rights and Free Speech Positions – February 2024

Monday , 18 March 2024
Photo credit: Reuters

Background and Context


A total of 67 human-rights-related statements were addressed by Members of Parliament (MPs) in February 2024.


Out of these statements, 54% addressed Israel’s war crimes, 11% tackled women’s rights, and 9% focused on attacks against journalists by Israel.


Since October 2023, the most discussed human rights topic on social media by MPs has been the war on Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 31,611 Palestinians.


Several MPs expressed their views on three incidents via social media, which, though not directly related to human rights, influenced the content of their statements. These incidents include the death of Lebanese actor Fadi Ibrahim, the 19th commemoration of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, and the adoption of the government’s 2024 annual budget, which was contested before the Constitutional Council by a number of MPs.




In February 2024, 25 MPs made a total of 67 statements pertaining to human rights and public freedoms, through their personal accounts on X and Facebook.


These statements have been classified into 10 categories:


  • Israel’s war crimes
  • Women’s rights
  • Israel’s attacks on journalists
  • Repression of freedom of expression
  • Prisoners’ rights
  • Judicial independence and impunity
  • Human rights
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Right to education
  • Gender equality
  • Palestinians’ rights
  • Press freedom


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 human rights, journalists’ rights, and freedom of speech within the public political discourse throughout February 2024.

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




Out of the 67 statements, significant attention was given to Israel’s inhumane and illegal actions, with 35 statements addressing its war crimes against Palestine and Lebanon, while six statements focused on Israel’s targeting of  journalists and were issued by MPs Halime Kaakour, Ibrahim Mneimneh, Ibrahim Moussawi, Mark Daou, Michel Douaihy and Paula Yacoubian. Additionally, seven statements by MPs Inaya Ezzedine, Paula Yacoubian Razi El Hajj and Waddah Sadek, advocated for women’s rights, emphasizing the necessity of amending laws and regulations concerning sexual harassment. Furthermore, five statements by MPs Adib Abdel Masih, Ibrahim Mneimneh, Michel Moawad and Salim Al Sayegh, underscored the suppression of freedom of expression in relation to Lokman Slim’s assassination in 2021; while four statements by MP Faysal Al Sayegh highlighted the rights of prisoners and detainees.


To gain a deeper understanding of the political landscape and identify the most vocal groups on human rights in February 2024, 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 - political groups with highest to lowest 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


Table 4. Ranking of the top-10 MPs who shared most statements from June 2022 till February 2024


Notably, in February 2024, MP Paula Yacoubian released nine statements concerning human rights, while MPs Halimé Kaakour, Inaya Ezzedin, and Michel Moawad made five each.


MP Mark Daou maintains his lead in the cumulative number of statements made since June 2022.


“Poor Performers”: Anti-Human Rights Standpoints


Xenophobia and hate speech keeps spreading among the social media platforms of some MPs.


Consistently with the findings of previous monitoring reports, MP Pierre Bou Assi continued to issue his anti-Syrian refugees statements, with posts such as “Let’s impose a cut of funds for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.”


Another MP from the Lebanese Forces, Georges Adwan, joined Bou Assi in his hate rants against Syrian refugees. In a speech, he made the following statements:

  • “They are sitting comfortably and happily in our land” (with a sarcastic tone).
  • “Every municipality should enforce the displacement of every Syrian who does not have their legal papers with them.”
  • “And then Lebanese people end up defending the Syrian” (with a sarcastic tone).
  • “This is not a refuge, this is an illegal existence in our land.”

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