Skyline Condemns Restricting Freedoms and Muzzling Dissents in Lebanon
STOCKHOLM –Skyline condemns the Lebanese authorities' policy of restricting freedoms and muzzling dissents on the grounds of expressing opinions on social media.
In its press release, Skyline said that the continued arrest of the Social media activist "Saeed Abdullah" since October 30 is a flagrant violation of human rights and reflects the repression that Lebanon has reached.
Skyline states that it had complied testimonies from the young Abdullah family (33 years) indicating a severe deterioration in his health due to his continued detention without legal basis, in contradiction to international covenants and conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Abdullah was arrested due to his political views that he describes in his social media posts, criticizing Lebanon's political situation and corruption.
He was charged with "insulting the status of the President of the Republic," "contempt of religions," and "inciting sectarian strife."
Abdullah received a report from the Office of Combating "Electronic Crimes" for investigation, during which the Appeal Public Prosecutor in Mount Lebanon ordered his arrest and referred his case to a judge. The judge decided to keep him in detention and issued an arrest warrant for him for allegedly "insulting the President of the Republic" according to Articles 384 and 317 of the Penal Code related to "stirring up Sectarian strife".
Skyline International highlights that although the Lebanese constitution protects the presidency position, this article does not deprive the society of the right to criticize it. Skyline also condemns the continued unlawful detention of Abdullah that flagrantly violates the pretrial detention's principles.
Also, Skyline stresses that this action contravenes the right to freedom of expression stipulated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the General Assembly in 1966. This Article stipulates that "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression." This right shall include the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice regardless of the borders."
The international foundation "Skyline" calls for the urgent release of Abdullah. It encourages the government to stops all forms of prosecutions and violations against freedom of opinion and expression, especially on the Internet and social media.
Skyline points out that the laws in force in Lebanon, including the Penal Code and the Military Law, include broad texts that pose a risk to freedoms. These laws require approving amendments to them, the main title of which is to ensure that freedoms and rights are not compromised and ensure the judiciary becomes a tool to promote and protect rights from the executive authorities' intervention.