Mounting Repression Of Electronic Media In Lebanon Since The Beginning Of 2020
STOCKHOLM — Skyline International states that the ongoing public protests in Lebanon that erupted due to the aggravation of the economic crisis have been met with serious violations of human rights.
The right to express opinions via the Internet and social media has been particularly impacted.
A new report issued by Skyline International has monitored violations against a group of activists, journalists, and citizens who were attacked as a result of their posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter.
The report, entitled “Effects of Electronic Repression on the Impact of Protests in Lebanon,” states that “government forces and authorities have not played their role in protecting citizens and
Regardless of their opinions, there is no justification for the recent series of attacks in response to their internet publications.”
Sherine Awad, head of Skyline International, says, “The Lebanese authorities have launched a campaign against all those who express dissent.
The measures have included investigations, the requirement to sign pledges that certify places of residence, and unfair judicial rulings in response to contents of posts and methods of expression.”
Awad adds that this “is tantamount to the exploitation of loosely worded legal texts so as to justify the violation of rights and the prosecution of individuals for their exercise of the political and civil rights stipulated in international conventions.”
The Law in Lebanon
Awad stresses that “the suppression of the protests is unjustified, as it is an attack on two of the most important political and civil rights of individuals — namely, the right to express an opinion and the right to peaceful assembly.”
The report calls for an urgent cessation of all forms of prosecution and violations related to acts of freedom of opinion and expression.
It clarifies that “the laws in force in Lebanon, including the penal code and military laws, contain loosely worded provisions that are considered a threat to freedoms.
The adoption of clearly worded and unambiguous amendments to those laws is needed so as to ensure freedoms and rights and fair procedures.”
In its report, Skyline also calls on the Lebanese judicial authorities to drop all charges against every person being tried in response to their expression of opinion in social media, stressing that “the judiciary
should be a tool to promote and protect rights rather than a tool for violation of rights.”