Attacking a Syrian Television Undermines Freedoms in Lebanon
Catholic Union of the Press: Solidarity with the Palestinians and Condemnation of the Israeli Media Blockade on Gaza
The International Catholic Union of the Press – Lebanon (UCIP – Lebanon) considered that the aggression against the group from the Syrian television in North Lebanon was a dangerous act that undermines the freedoms in Lebanon and runs counter to the pluralist democracy of Lebanon. The Union expressed its solidarity with the Palestinian cause condemning the Israeli massacres, pointing out to the methods used by the Hebrew State in its media blockade on Gaza and warning from a new trend that mixes between religious and political symbols. In its statement, the Union affirmed the following:
1- The UCIP Media Observatory in Lebanon follows with great sadness the situation of the Palestinians in Gaza and expresses its profound humanitarian and national solidarity with the brethren people and their just cause, hoping that they will recover their territories and independent political entity. UCIP condemns all Israeli practices; in particular the way media is treated and prevented from entering Gaza to reveal the atrocity of the crimes. This treatment violates the most fundamental human and media rights.
2 – The Union condemns the killing of innocent civilians, children, women, old people and journalists, as well as the aggression launched against the journalists in the North and other Lebanese region whose victims were a group from the Syrian television and our colleagues Hala Murr and Ramzi Mcharafih.
3- The Union particularly denounces the aggression against the group from the Syrian television. In fact, Lebanon has always been a forum for Arab media and an example of press freedom. This image should not change in any case. Attacking Syrian reporters tarnishes Lebanon reputation and its cultural role. Therefore, we urge the security forces to double efforts to protect people working in the media field in Lebanon and we call upon stakeholders to penalize all those who are violating the freedoms of expression and opinion.
4- The Union would like to point out that the Lebanese newspaper "The Daily Star" has been stopped from publishing for financial reasons. No newspaper should be stopped from publishing or should stop its publication for no reason because such situation tarnishes Lebanon image, a country well known for its linguistic, intellectual and cultural plurality. Therefore, UCIP- Lebanon asks the Lebanese government, the Lebanese Press Syndicate and the Lebanese Press Writers Syndicate to take action to help this newspaper recover its place in the media field and support other media facing financial problems for multiple reasons, namely the regression of the media market and the decrease in readers' revenues.
5-The Union warns against a growing trend towards mixing between political and religious symbols in the advertisements. This trend is a regression that runs counter to the heavenly message and blackens the reputation of religious and political figures. The Union urges all political leaders to put an end to this heretical trend that goes against the Lebanese values and beliefs.
6- . In conclusion, the Union would like to point out to the flaws in the media coverage of the aggression against Gaza. In fact, this coverage was dualistic and partial, lacking the very fundamental conditions of professionalism i.e. multiple viewpoints and constructive criticism. It did not serve justice, peace or truth, reflecting biased views and distorting the real truth.
Translated by: Marie-Lou Nicolas