Lebanese mayor cracks down on homosexuality in his town

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

By: Yumna Marwan

Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Lebanese mayor of Dekwaneh defended his actions in an interview Tuesday after he ordered Lebanese security forces to raid and shut down a gay-friendly nightclub in the Beiruti suburb town.

Several club-goers were arrested and forced to undress in the municipal headquarters, where they were then photographed naked.

“I saw 25 men outside, or what looked like boys and men. I went inside... I saw people kissing, touching each other, and a man wearing a skirt. These homosexual acts that are happening... are scandalous sexual acts,” Antoine Shakhtoura said.

Shakhtoura had ordered the nightclub Ghost to be shut down on charges of “promoting prostitution, drugs and homosexuality.”

The closure of the club occurred “without legal notice,” said the founder of Lebanese LGBTQ rights organization Helem, Charbel Maydaa, pointing out that the police already oppress gay and transgender people.

Those arrested included “people from the Syrian community and a Lebanese transsexual woman, who was harassed and forced to undress in the municipal headquarters,” said Maydaa.

“Of course we made them take off their clothes,” Shakhtoura said referring to the people they transferred to the municipality’s headquarters who were also photographed there.

“We saw a scandalous situation and we had to know what these people were. Is it a woman or a man? Turned out to be a half woman and half man. I do not accept this in Dekwaneh,” he insisted.

“We didn’t fight for and defend this land and our honor for some people... to practice these things in my neighborhood, Dekwaneh,” Shakhtoura added.

Video of mayor Antoun Shaktoura’s interview in Arabic from Lebanese television station, LBCI.

In response, one of Ghost’s managers said, “even if they are [gay], well, that is their personal freedom and we do not have any problem with it at all.”

The nightclub’s management condemned the municipality’s accusation, stressing to Al-Akhbar that the accusations against them were false and that the raid of the Lebanese forces had no prior warning.

Helem, which was founded in 2004, had been monitoring the nightclub as it was a regular target of police abuse.

In a statement the organization issued recently, they said, “witnesses confirmed that customers near the nightclub were frequently exposed to abuse because of their appearance. Some are transferred in car trunks to the municipality where they are physically and verbally abused.”

As reported in Al-Akhbar, the Dekwaneh area has joined other Lebanese regions in their heightened discrimination towards Syrians in the country. Syrian nightclub goers often risk violence should they violate the 7:00 pm curfew imposed on Syrian refugees in parts of Lebanon.



First of all, the club existed in dekweneh area at almost 2 years and it is well known there and Mr chaktoura knows very well the gays go there.. now he is pretending that he is shocked of seeing half woman and half man transexual person lol and guys kissing each others.. 2nd ghost bar has cameras and no guys were kissing.. security guards come directly and pretend such acts.. drugs i doubt.. in all clubs there r drugs so does escorts ( is it str8 or gay club).. acid was closed.. then ghost bar opened.. and now ghost bar closed... other new gay clubs r re -opened more than one lool.. noone can pretend the gay clubs in lebanon.. Besides politicians and all famous and important people like Mr chaktoura are getting paid lot of money and they r benefiting from gay clubs.. i guess hs is not benefiting a lot these days thats why he ordered to close it.. oen thing also about the police and the detectives is that they have sex with gays and they r gays themselves and then they insult them .. finally gay tourism generates lot of money to the lebanese government and all people know this since lebanon is the only country in the arab world who has gay places.. SHAME ON MR CHAKTOURA WHO IS GAY HIMSELF AND HOMOPHOBIC IN THE SAME TIME JUST LIKE JOE MAALOUF

Well, i think that homosexuals are already suffering too much, so why add to their suffer one more ??

Every-person is not perfect, at least that they are not harming someone else.

Referring to the video at 1:39, what battle or war is this insane mayor talking about?

After watching the video and seeing the mayor being interviewed, I have no doubt he is a closet homosexual. This is nothing new- repressed homosexuals are the loudest in their criticism of the rights of gay people.

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