Lebanese legislatures offer support to Al-Akhbar, Al-Jadeed

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

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Members of Lebanon's Parliament attend a gathering to denounce the STL's targeting or Al-Akhbar and Al-Jadeed on April 30, 2014. (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

Published Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Legislatures held a solidarity meet in support of Al-Akhbar and Al-Jadeed Television Wednesday after the two media organizations and their editors were charged by an international court last week with contempt and obstruction of justice.

Eleven members of the March 8 block participated in the gathering, with their March 14 rivals turning down invitations to join.

"The Parliament members are here today to support the Lebanese media, and to show our rejection of the decision of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)," MP Hassan Fadlallah, who heads the media and telecommunications committee in parliament.

Critics accuse The Hague-based STL, which was ostensibly set up to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, of overstepping its boundaries by going after journalists.

The STL's charges against Al-Akhbar and Al-Jadeed relate the media organizations' publication of prosecution witness lists.

MP Emile Rahme announced at the gathering that "as a lawyer," he has volunteered to help defend Al-Akhbar's editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin and Al-Jadeed's deputy director Karma Khayat who have been summoned to appear before the STL on May 13.

Rahme said he wanted "to show support and stand by their sides in order to preserve media freedom in Lebanon."

Separately, former Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati called on the STL to "to focus on their work in uncovering the truth" over who killed Hariri, and not to concern itself with side issues in Twitter remarks Wednesday.

(Al-Akhbar)

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