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In a positive development, parliament repealed article 522 of the criminal code, which had allowed rapists to escape prosecution by marrying the victim.Lebanon’s waste management crisis has led to widespread open burning of waste, risking a range of short term and long-term health effects among local residents.As the Syrian refugee crisis continued, an estimated 80 percent of the approximately 1.5 million refugees lack legal status, leaving them vulnerable to arrest, abuse, and exploitation; contributing to poverty and child labor; and restricting their access to education and healthcare.Lebanon waived burdensome residency fees for some Syrians in February.
The (sponsorship) system subjects them to restrictive immigration rules and places them at risk of exploitation and abuse.
Human Rights Watch continued to document reports of torture by Lebanese security forces, including Internal Security Forces, the Lebanese Armed Forces, and Military Intelligence.
In October, parliament passed a new anti-torture law that, while a positive step, falls short of Lebanon’s obligations under international law.
In 2017, Lebanese authorities continued to detain and charge individuals for social media posts critical of government officials.
In June, soldiers were captured on video kicking and beating protesters who had gathered to demonstrate against a third extension of parliament’s term.