Antelias, March 30th, 2001
1 – The World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media severally condemns the new method of the security authorities of persisting the limitation of media freedoms as it appeared lately via retaining the passport of the colleague Samir Kassir, a reporter whose media activity is known by the courage in telling the truth, and the disclosure of practices against sovereignty, freedom and independence principles which are supposed to be defended by every original citizen.
2 – The Forum is surprised by this innovation in the exposure to the dignity of publicists and their rights to assume their noble role, wondering about the destiny of the promises of Presidents to themselves to not allow the transgression of mass media freedom, and the goals that such procedures lead to, worrying that they seem more as a revenge than as a responsible action during the current conditions. Do these procedures mean to subjugate the free Lebanese media and impose the official statement on it, so Lebanon becomes at the same level of other neighbor countries where the concepts of human rights and democracy are absent?
3 – The Forum is also surprised by the declaration of the minister of Information, Ghazi Al Aridi, who accused some mass medias of causing troubles. It reminds the minister of the obvious fundamental functions of free mass media, namely the expression of people’s aspirations and the transmission of their opinion, whereas the power duty is to listen to their requests and treat them equitably, far from the favoritism and discretion policy known and complained by the minister. Thus, the treatment of the problem does not occur by the exposure to mass medias but by the objective and responsible consideration of the presented problems, in order to find good resolutions for them.
Translated by: Joyce Tary