Antelias, April 27th, 2001
1 – The World Forum of Professional in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon denounced the war of statements and the intentional media hostility which constitute one of the military war tools, and produce convulsive climates alike the statement called “the revolutionary cells” distributed in the South, the circulars thrown in Achrafieh streets, and e – statements attacking Maronite religious men, whereas promoters of these statements were not discovered.
Newspapers included other media statements, some of them supporting the baton and axes demonstration…All of this increases the anxiety rate in the country and does not spread climates of stability and confidence necessary today. It is not beneficiary for Lebanon that mass medias are used as barricades for psychological war instead of being a dialogue and convergence intersection. Warriors’ statements never won a war alone. Official statements never fed hungry people. Regimes which used to feed their people with statements and medals instead of bread broke down.
2 – The media observer of the Forum received a series of complains from radios which complain from chaos on “FM” waves, and the jamming because of unauthorized channels and the disrespect of the frequencies. This action offenses the audiences, radios and the State at the same time. This seems necessary to be treated due to the laws, whereas the national council of media seems absent from all of these actions, which calls for reviewing its authorities, and activating it for accomplishing its real role in taking decisions and directions which are supposed to protect the media and democratic freedoms and the national peace.
3 – The Forum is surprised by the practices and retainments which happened lately on the Lebanese territory, and by the negligence of the State to treat by using the policy of two weights, two measurements. The Forum considered that these practices threaten the freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by the Lebanese Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and stress on deforming the dignity of the State and its credibility in dealing equitably with all citizens without any discrimination.
4 – At last, the Forum reminds what was mentioned in the message of the United Nations in the occasion of the Universal Day for the Freedom of Press this year: “The freedom of press is one of the pillars of the democracy and is necessary to any continuous socio – economic growth”. Thus, the press liberation seems a necessary condition for the evolution in the Arab World which still succumbs under official and unofficial media, shackles by rigid official structures which do not go with the spirit of human rights and the true democracy, and do not serve the realization of Arab causes and the peace.
Translated by: Joyce Tary