BEIRUT: The Maharat media watchdog has asked the Beirut Bar Association president, Amal Haddad, to cease all disciplinary procedures against two of its members ahead of an Oct. 11 hearing.
Carlos Daoud and Nizar Saghieh were subject to an internal investigation in the lawyers’ syndicate regarding an article Daoud had written in Saghieh’s law publication in July.
The article criticized a draft proposal from the association which would regulate contact between lawyers and media outlets.
The proposal has been slammed by several international rights groups for restricting lawyers’ freedom of expression.
Saghieh himself has said that the proposal is authoritarian, as it prevents lawyers from discussing legal cases with the media, a statement from Maharat said, especially in regard to cases concerning human rights, media attention and public opinion which can play a vital role in conducting a proper legal defense, he added.
In its statement, Maharat said: “We ask the lawyers’ syndicate in Beirut to accept criticism regarding the project regulating the relation between lawyers and media as it restricts the freedom of opinion and expression which is a fundamental right that cannot be restricted unless by a law issued by the Parliament within the requirements of a democratic society.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 23, 2011, on page 3.