Antelias, December 26th, 2001
1. The World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon denounces the aggression against the Editing House “Dar Al Charek”. It considers it an aggression against all Lebanese presses and a threat of media freedoms. The Forum claims the authorities to discover the actors and to guarantee the security of media institutions for which financial problems are quite enough. Such aggressions will increase the unemployment between publicists and threaten the plurality of media in Lebanon, an essential symbol of the nation which badly needs in these current situations the image of a country against terrorism and not in favor of it.
2. The Forum joins intellengtias and publicists who declared their solidarity with the reporter Habib Youness. It claims one again officials to quickly close this file which does not serve the Lebanese image abroad.
3. The Forum is concerned about rumors about foreign possession of national mass medias. It considers this action a threat to economic and political Lebanese interests, especially that it is known that “the yellow press” financed from outside played a major role in igniting the Lebanese war in 1975.
4. On the 53rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Forum regrets that most of the Arab World disregards this Universal Declaration, and regrets as well some accidents which disfigured the name of Lebanon in this sector during this year.
On the contrary, the Forum salutes the Jordan powers’ initiative to annul the Information ministry, wishing that it represents the swallow announcing the spring of free media in the Arab World which ends the role of Information ministries in directing the press and dictating its content, and transforms the mass media to the service of social, developmental and cultural issues.
5. As the idea of “civilizations struggle” became in the daily worldwide media dictionary, the Forum calls the Lebanese mass media to act on showing the Lebanese version as a translation of coexistence which may be used as a worldwide version in the dialogue of religions and civilizations. However, this action must be accompanied by efforts exert by Lebanese powers, movements, assemblies and the civil society forces in order to eliminate all impurities in this version resulted from wrong practices.
6. On the occasion of the anniversary of Lesser Bairam, Christmas and New Year, the Forum presents to all religious officials, to the Lebanese people in general and the mass media directors and colleague reporters in particular, its best wishes asking the Almighty God to give everyone good health and happiness, and give institutions prosperity and development.
Translated by: Joyce Tary