Antelias, May 5 th, 2003
The International Catholic Union of Press in Lebanon (UcipLiban) is doing its best to serve the freedom of the Press and entertain human and journalists’ rights, those journalists who may face danger at anytime. UcipLiban knows that the new minister of Information Michel Samaha has a great responsibility to achieve, because of the political and social situation in Lebanon and the region. The union asks the minister to bring up the case of the “MTV” in the cabinet for the reconsideration of the decisions made about this case, and to ask for the reopening of this television station, to save many people from deprivation and unemployment.
The union reports that:
1- The union condemns the crime against the British journalist that took place in Palestine, and the crimes against all the journalists that were killed on the Iraqi territories. The union asks the International Community to investigate in this case to reveal its circumstances and punish the criminals in order to protect the journalists from future attacks.
2- The repression of the manifestation of Achrafieh and the attacks against journalists had resulted a very bad reaction on the people and gave a negative image of Lebanon, the country of freedom, in the international opinion. The union has realized that the Lebanese authorities are still far from communicating with a majority of youth who are the next generation and the bases for raising a country.
3- The union sees that the responsibility of the new minister of Information Michel Samaha is great, because of the actual political and social situation in Lebanon and the region. The union is ready to help the minister in the field of journalism freedom in Lebanon, for the achievement of journalists’ rights. The union asks his excellence to put forward the case of “MTV” in the cabinet to be reconsidered and to bring modifications on the decision of closure of this media station, to help its employees getting out of the damage caused by the closure.
4- The union encourages his excellence to confront bravely the planning of influential that are working on politicization of media for their own interests, by gagging some of the media stations because of its transparency.
The union thinks that the new minister must reexamine the role of its ministry and identify its mission, direction and aim, like cultured states does.
The union has the honor to participate in the Day for Free Expression with the Union of Lebanese Press, on may 6th at the Unesco Palace. The union felicitates its great Lebanese colleagues that have been honorees for their gold jubilee, whishing that the press will always be the forum of democracy, and that the freedom of expression will guaranty the dignity of Lebanon and its citizen.