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This submission highlights areas of concern that Social Media Exchange (SMEX) and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) hope will inform the Human Rights Committee’s consideration of the Lebanese government’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) concerning Article 17, on the right to privacy.

The submission examines the shortcomings of Lebanon’s domestic legal framework to protect the right to privacy, and documents state-led mass communications surveillance, as well as other threats to the right to privacy in Lebanon for the period of 2011-2016. While this submission focuses on Article 17, it is important to recognise that the exercise of the right to privacy is important for the realisation of other human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and to hold opinions without interference, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and is one of the foundations of a democratic society.

It is hoped that this submission will inform the Committee’s pre-sessional review of Lebanon and that the concerns highlighted here will be reflected in the List of Issues submitted to the Lebanese government ahead of its review.