Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Media: Lebanese news website owner attacked by members of Hezbollah's Resistance Brigades


The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the attack on the owner of Saida Gate news website Abdel Basset Turjuman by members of the Resistance Brigades, an armed group affiliated with Hezbollah, on 3 July 2014.

Turjuman was severely beaten, verbally assaulted, and threatened with sexual abuse by Mahmoud Abu Deraa, a member of the Resistance Brigades, near his home in Al-Villat area.

He was attacked as a result of publishing articles on the Saida Gate website criticising the Resistance Brigades' violations in the region. Turjuman has since filed a lawsuit against his attacker at the New Saida police station.

On 5 Julym a widespread solidarity campaign was launched in Saida by colleagues in the media. Placards with these words written on them were being waved around the city: "Press and media freedoms violated in Saida, we are in solidarity with journalist Abdel Basset Turjuman."

"Targeting journalists in this way makes journalistic work more difficult to do, it threatens the lives of its practitioners, and does not allow for a safe atmosphere for journalists and media professionals to do their work in Lebanon," said ANHRI.

The network urges Lebanese authorities to provide adequate protection for journalists and an appropriate environment in which journalism can be practiced. It also urges the authorities to arrest the perpetrator and to summon him to a fair and prompt trial.

The authorities should comply with all international charters and conventions concerned with human rights so as not to consolidate the policy of impunity and imperil the lives of other Lebanese journalists.