Human Rights Watch report on digital targeting of LGBT people

Human Rights Watch claimed in a report published on 21 February that government officials target LGBT people throughout the Middle East and North Africa region based on their online behavior on social media. In violation of their right to privacy and other fundamental rights, security forces have entrapped LGBT people on social media and dating websites, subjected them to online extortion, harassment, and outing, and used illegally obtained digital photos, chat records, and similar information in prosecutions.

The report, titled ‘All This Terror Because of a Photo’: Digital Targeting and Its Offline Consequences for LGBT People in the Middle East and North Africa, looks at how security forces use digital targeting and its extensive offline effects, such as arbitrary detention and torture, in five nations: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. The results demonstrate how security forces use digital targeting to compile and produce proof to support prosecutions.