Christian Duran
July 31, 2020

A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) details sexual violence against gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and non-binary people in Syria (HRW). The Syrian state and non-state actors have targeted people based on their perceived or known sexual orientation or gender identity, people they saw as “soft” (HRW). HRW conducted 40 interviews in Lebanon with survivors of different gender identities and sexual orientations (HRW). Survivors described a range of emotional and physical traumas, including symptoms consistent with depression and post-traumatic stress, as well as contracting sexually transmitted Disease (STDs) (HRW).

Survivors also recount receiving death threats from their family members once they learned of their relatives’ sexual orientation or gender identity (Al Jazeera). The survivors who have now fled to Lebanon lack adequate support services in regard to both medical services and mental health support (HRW). HRW is urging humanitarian organizations and service providers in Lebanon to provide rehabilitation services to all survivors regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity (HRW). Syria’s civil war has been dragging on for nearly ten years, while LGBT people have been the silent victims of widespread and under reported sexual violence (Vice).

Sources:
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/29/sexual-violence-against-men-trans-women-syria-conflict
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/gay-bisexual-men-trans-women-speak-sexual-abuse-syria-200728192816296.html
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dzk55/human-rights-watch-sexual-violence-syria-conflict