Antelias, June 1st, 2001
The office of the World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon held its regular meeting today and issued the following statement:
1. The Forum denies the violence of the security forces against students at the University of Business Management and Economic Sciences at Achrafieh, and perceives it a repression of the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to pacifically demonstrate. The dealing of the power with the Lebanese youth by hitting them with guns heel does not resolve the problems of the society, whereas it is asked to use the dialogue and to deal with students as the father deals with his son, not to consider them an enemy or adversary and aim to repress them. And what happened is shameful for the State and its institutions. The Forum denounces as well the aggressions against some publicists from security forces by hitting and insulting them without differentiating between a publicist accomplishing his profession and a demonstrator claiming his right, a situation which obstructed them to accomplish their media mission.
2. The issue of the Lebanese University as it was presented was a title of national division on the contrary of the public goal. Any project for the national University shall take into consideration the intellectual plurality, the academic freedom and the developmental decentralization. The Lebanese University shall not have a specific and traced ideology, for the concept of the University is based on the perpetuation of the monetary thinking and the dissociation between education and politics. It became necessary to work on the study of a new conception for the Lebanese University which encourages the evacuation and the establishment of independent branches, alike the universities of the developed world.
3. The Forum is very concerned about what revealed certain members of the Cabinet concerning the wiretapping and observing case and the role of the security forces in it, added to what was said about “an uncivilized project to impose its conditions and obligations for constituting the military rule”. These data are a deep concern if their trueness is proved, and this contradicts with the Constitution and public laws and represents a threat to the democratic regime and public freedoms that Lebanese people stick to till death. This issue, due to its danger, requires a rapid interference from the legislative, executive and judicial powers for putting an end to it. It requires as well the motion of the civil society for supporting their sacred rights. The uncaring of officials toward this dangerous issue may come under the cadre of collusion with the actors and may be an assertion of what the Lebanese fear, namely the presence of a power over the power and a State over the State which annuls the causes of existence of the Lebanese entity.
Translated by: Joyce Tary