Freedom of Speech in Lebanon
By: Minister/Brigadier Issam Abu Jamra
(Free translation by: Elias Bejjani)

How can a sane individual actually believe that “Lebanon was and will remain the country of freedoms”, (a statement by General Lahoud) especially those of speech and media and in accordance with the rules and regulations?

Is it true that Lebanon’s rules and regulations bans a Lebanese citizen from being a guest in an interview with the Qatari Al-Jazera satellite TV station, to express his views on the nature of the Syrian-Lebanese relationship? Is it the Lebanese law that gives the right to the Lebanese-Syrian installed officials and their intelligence personnel to interfere with the Al-Jazera TV station and abort the interview, even before knowing its content?

Do the recognized Lebanese rules and regulations forbid a Lebanese citizen from calling through the media for Lebanon’s full sovereignty on all its territory, and for the Lebanese president to be solely responsible for the Lebanese file in the Arab-Israeli negotiations?

Is it legal to ban or abort all TV, Radio, and other media interviews and articles calling for the withdrawal of Syrian and all other foreign troops from Lebanon?

Do the well-recognized Lebanese rules and regulations give the right to Intelligence and security authorities to arrest Lebanese citizens arbitrarily? Do they give them the right to refuse to release them before signing affidavits stating they will refrain from any future involvement in politics or calls for the withdrawal of Syrian and other foreign troops from Lebanon?

The question that every body should ask loudly is, “Have the Lebanese laws and regulations been changed secretly and become different from those published in Lebanon’s official Gazette?”.

It is a disaster if he who said and believes: “Lebanon is the country for freedom of expression”, is truly aware of what has happened and is happening …If he is not, the disaster is certainly more devastating.
Long Live free Lebanon
France 20/5/1999