UCIP: To honour the press is to defend it

1- The UCIP praises the Head of the National Information Council Mr. Abdel Hadi Mahfouz for saying: "the National Information Council is nothing but an esthetic board behind which the Authorities hide." And also: "The Government does not apply its own laws" in the information field. The UCIP considers this an opportunity for asking the officials who keep talking about media freedoms to enhance the role of the National Information Council in order to transform it into an efficient institution guaranteeing media freedoms that are mentioned by the Lebanese Constitution and laws and trying to well organize the media sector in order to reveal a true model image of Lebanon.

2- The UCIP is concerned by the practices of intellectual and physical terrorism against the citizens in the South especially the series of explosions and threatening communiqués. The UCIP also felt the content of some of the Fiqh scjolars about the Armenian community and it considers that such declarations and positions can only separate the people of one nation and cannot be part of the Islam spirit of tolerance but just an expression of the religious and cultural racism that the Israeli enemy is trying to inculcate in the spirits.

3- The UCIP considers that the decision to have TéléLiban broadcast again the political programmes reveals a defective vision of the media. In fact, the private television stations are overwhelmed by political programmes and the State representatives are always appearing on the screens. Therefore, it would have been more useful to concentrate on the worthy social and cultural programmes that are almost absent in our TV networks.

4- The UCIP noted the declarations issued on the occasion of the martyrs of the press and considered that Lebanon had forgotten those press martyrs who had fallen during the war while they were defending national values and there are dozens of them including: Salim Alwazi, Ryad Taha, Edward Saab… And to honour the press today means to defend it. The aggressions against the press this year especially those against the LBC when nine employees were arbitrarily arrested as well as the harassment of some of the journalists in other medias require increased efforts in order to defend the freedom of opinion and expression in Lebanon which constitutes one of the main pillars of a democratic regime.

5- The UCIP expresses its satisfaction for the release of journalist Nizar Nayouf and considers this as a good initiative added to the positive decisions taken in Damascus such as the authorization of the "Dumari" newspaper as well as the possibility of issuing permits for private newspapers, which constitutes signs of a future openness and a larger media freedom that can only reflect positively on the relationship between the Lebanese and Syrian societies.