Marcel Ghanem leaves after his trial at the Justice Palace in Baabda, Thursday. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Human Rights Watch Wednesday said that a pattern of prosecutions of journalists and activists based on their criticism of officials is threatening free speech in Lebanon.Additionally, HRW said activist Obada Youssef was summoned by Lebanon's military intelligence on Jan. 20 for questioning over Facebook posts concerning "leading Lebanese politicians". He was detained by the military and police for four days, HRW said.Though Lebanon's constitution does grant a high degree of free speech, the Lebanese penal code criminalizes libel and defamation against public officials and authorizes imprisonment of up to one year in such cases.
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