Antelias, December 13th, 2002
In the regular meeting traditionally held by the observer of the World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon, this latter discussed this week a series of issues related to public and media freedoms in the Lebanese and Arab domains, mainly:
1- The persistence of closing “MTV” channel and “Mount Lebanon” radio as it is until now constitutes a black point in the history of media existence in Lebanon. Thus, the Forum calls the officials in the judicial, executive and legislative powers for working on the opening of these two media channels before it is too late, as it calls all media institutions for not slackening the practices of all legitimate pressures in order to save the Lebanese threatened multimedia, and to preserve the rights of hundred householders menaced of unemployment and emigration.
2- The Forum condemns what the academic freedoms in the Lebanese University encounter because of the interference of categorical policies and sediments of militia manners in the administration, and the non – ratification of necessary financial budgets for the well progress of academic institutions. The concerns on the future of the Lebanese education are represented by the aggravation of the phenomena of private universities spread like mushrooms, and their lack of the minimum necessary conditions, which makes them commercial institutions more than institutions entrusted with education and scientific message, a real Lebanese’s wealth. This prevents the citizens of benefiting from their major rights to just education and social development in the cadre of social dignity, freedom and justice.
3- On the regional side, the Forum is surprised by the silence of Arab mass media towards Israeli’s massacres of Palestinian people and Christian and Islamic communities in the sacred territories, and the imminent violation of the right to exist and to the freedom of faith, via the organized military attacks on cult regions and isolated citizens, especially women, children and aged persons, and persons of social institutions, mainly the lately attack on the employee at the British Refugees’ Aids Agency, Iyan John Hook.
The Forum sees in the hideosity and execution of this crime an Israeli sincere will to terrify the members of World Humanitarian Corporations in favor of the oppressed Palestinian people and to prevent them from helping it in its continuous tragedy.
4- In front of what encounters a brother Arab country such as Iraq from US attacks controlled by an hegemony spirit and a blind will to control the fuel resources without any consideration of the human and moral restrain, the Forum finds strange that most Arab mass media keeps silence, like some governments, if not colluding with them, against a brother people destined to face alone the most aggressive force in the modern history.
In front of this tragic situation, the Forum calls all Arab media for breaking the silence strap imposed sometimes in order to raise the media message to the level of human expression, if not saying the national civilian level required in such crucial historical situations in the region, as the Lebanese media is supposed to remain the example and in the forefront.
Translated by: Joyce Tary