BEIRUT: A number of journalists were detained and interrogated in the month of September at Hezbollah checkpoints in the Beirut southern suburbs, the Samir Kassir Eyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom said in its monthly report released Monday. The report said journalists were detained and “humiliated” at the checkpoints, citing the example of Hussein Shamas, who works for the Higher Shiite Council media department, who was stopped by members of Hezbollah manning a checkpoint near the Mar Mikhael church in Shiyah. Shamas’ car was also confiscated in the incident.
Cameraman Abbas Hayek, from Al-Jadeed TV station, was stopped at the same checkpoint and interrogated for an hour, the report said.
SKeyes added that the ISF’s cybercrime unit summoned journalist Rasha al-Amin for an investigation over an article she published in Al-Muhasaba, in which she described Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea as a criminal.
The report said that Geagea also filed a lawsuit against the Sawt al-Mada radio station for alleged slander and defamation.
Separately, the Court of Cassation withdrew the case against journalist Mohannad Hajj Ali, who was under investigation by the cybercrime unit for the dissemination of an article about Geagea’s alleged war crimes.
The report follows up on press and cultural freedom violations in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. It described the situation in Syria as tragic, with about 16 media activists killed last month, including six in and around Damascus and three in Raqaa.
SKeyes said that many journalists were subject to kidnapping and detention in Syria, including Marc Marginedas of Spanish newspaper El Periodico, who was kidnapped by a Syrian rebel group in Hama.
In the Occupied West Bank and 1948 territories, a number of Palestinian journalists were wounded when they were targeted by tear gas and stun grenades thrown by Israeli soldiers. The Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip summoned many journalists for their work.