A young Lebanese woman entrusted her neighborhood mobile repairman with her cell phone, but little did she know he’d end up stealing her personal photographs and harassing her.
One day, she went into his shop to get help activating her phone line. Instead of simply doing his job, he told her that there was something wrong with the phone and that he’d keep it with him to fix it.
He ended up stealing her pictures and using them to blackmail her if she refused to talk to him and persisted to ignore his calls.
The photographs include “selfies” that are personal such as those of her without her hijab (traditional Islamic headscarf) and in her pajamas, which he threatened to make public.
The man was allegedly interested in the woman and this was his way of attempting to coerce her into talking to him.
He was apprehended, interrogated, and eventually confessed to doing what he did.
The investigative judge of Mount Lebanon charged him with the offense of threatening the woman with intent to harm her by exposing intimate pictures and referred the case to the criminal court in Baabda for trial.
Unfortunately, there’s a rising trend in men blackmailing women and underage girls with their personal photographs, that are sometimes explicit, threatening to ‘defame’ them unless they pay a large sum of money.
People in Lebanon should know that in Lebanese law there is an obligation to respect people’s private life. Any such violation is punishable by law.
According to SIDC NGO, “Every person who, in the framework of his status, job, profession or art, knew of a secret and revealed it without legitimate cause or used it for personal benefit or the benefit of others shall be subjected to one year in prison at most, and a fine of four hundred thousand LBP, if the act causes damage, even morally.”
Article 650 of the Lebanese Penal Code states that anyone who threatens to disclose a secret with the aim of harming this person for an illegitimate personal benefit can be sentenced to 2 months up to 2 years prison time and a fine of up to 600,000 LBP.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to speak up and report it to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.