Lebanon News

Bassil's bodyguard accused of snatching journalist’s phone at U.N.

Lebanon's caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil is seen after a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil’s bodyguard confiscated the mobile phone of a journalist at a U.N. conference on refugees Tuesday.

“Lebanese FM Gebran Bassil had his security confiscate my phone and erase the video when I was trying to interview him at U.N. Refugees forum in Geneva,” Deutsche Welle presenter Jaafar Abdul Karim tweeted.

Abdul Karim is a popular Lebanese-German journalist.

However, sources close to Bassil told local TV channel LBCI that Jaafar had not requested an interview with the caretaker minister, but had “repeatedly tried to photograph” Bassil with his phone as he walked through the U.N. headquarters.

The source said this “provoked” the Swiss and Lebanese security personnel who were with Bassil.

Bassil and Abdul Karim were attending the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, which runs for two days, ending Wednesday.

In his speech at the conference, Bassil warned the international community that “hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians” could flee to Europe if Lebanon destabilizes.

 

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