BEIRUT: Lebanese officials of all stripes stood Monday in solidarity with two Lebanese journalists days after a U.N.-backed court issued summons accusing the pair of obstructing justice and contempt.
Officials representing various media outlets, unions and lawyers as well as a number of MPs attended the “Defending Media Freedom” gathering held at the Journalists' Association in Beirut.
Press Federation President Mohammad Baalbaki slammed the summons as a violation of Lebanese law.
"Summoning fellow colleagues to the court contradicts media law in Lebanon," he told the gathering.
Baalbaki urged the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to reconsider its decision, an act, he said, Lebanon "collectively" rejected.
Last week, the U.N.-backed court accused editors from Al-Akhbar newspaper and Al-Jadeed television of obstructing justice and contempt after the two outlets published a list of alleged STL witnesses.
The court, which is in the process of trying five Hezbollah suspects for involvement in the 2005 killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, issued a summons for Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor-in-chief of the pro- Hezbollah daily Al-Akhbar, and Karma al-Khayyat, the deputy head of news at Al-Jadeed TV.
Head of Editors' Syndicate Elias Aoun called on media outlets to observe a one-day strike on May 13 in solidarity with Al-Akhbar and Al-Jadeed.