Lebanese women demand rights to pass nationality to children

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Beirut: Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Beirut on Monday, calling for the rights of Lebanese women who marry foreigners to pass their nationality onto their children.

The protest coincided with the legislative session held at Parliament to pass a number of bills, according to the National News Agency (NNA).

The demonstrators gathered at Riad Al Solh in central Beirut, protesting against the law that currently prohibits Lebanese women married to foreigners from giving the Lebanese nationality to their children.

Mustafa El Shaar, head of the campaign, said the protest was symbolic and warned of further escalations if the Parliament did not take into account the demands of these Lebanese women to pass nationality to their children.

Lebanese officials previously defended the law by saying that it was to prevent geographic imbalance.

Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil proposed to allow Lebanese women to pass on their nationality, except in cases where their husbands were from "neighbouring countries."

Lebanese civil society criticized his statement as vague and ambiguous as it could be applied to all Arab countries.

Lawmaker Hadi Abul Hassan prepared a draft law in which Lebanese women can automatically pass the nationality to their newborns.

"We sent the law to the Parliament. When committees meet, it will be discussed by the committee of administration and justice, then it will be transferred to the joint committee prior to the public committee, which approves it before it becomes a law," Hassan said.

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