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Lebanon


Lebanese army soldiers and residents gather at the site of an explosion in Nabi Osmane in the Bekaa Valley on March 17. (Reuters/Hassan Abdallah)

The recent kidnapping of two journalists in Lebanon is the latest and most troubling evidence that the press is in increasing danger as the Syrian civil war spills over into Lebanese politics.

New York, December 12, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Lebanese Court of Cassation to overturn the conviction of Rami Aysha, a Lebanese-Palestinian freelance journalist charged with purchasing firearms while he was investigating arms trafficking from Lebanon to Syria.

Lebanon's press climate, while better than its neighbors, suffered in 2012 as the uprising in Syria spiraled into civil war. In April, Syrian security forces shot and killed a Lebanese journalist covering the conflict from the Lebanese side of the border. Within the country, journalists faced significant risk while covering protests for and against the Syrian regime. In May and June, for example, nine journalists were attacked in four violent episodes during demonstrations. In September, the authorities detained for nearly a month a Lebanese-Palestinian journalist who frequently covered arms smuggling into Syria. In October, the rebel Free Syrian Amy abducted a Lebanese journalist working in Syria and held him captive for a week. Lebanese authorities negotiated his release.

New York, February 5, 2013--Authorities in Beirut should drop criminal charges against Rami Aysha, a Lebanese-Palestinian freelance journalist who was arrested by Hezbollah forces last August as he was investigating arms trafficking, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Syrian violence contributed to a sharp rise in the number of journalists killed for their work in 2012, as did a series of murders in Somalia. The dead include a record proportion of journalists who worked online. A CPJ special report

A journalist dodges gunfire in the Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

New York, October 29, 2012--A rebel group abducted a Lebanese journalist in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, bringing to at least five the number of international journalists being held captive by various sides of the conflict. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the journalists' captors to immediately release them and stop targeting members of the press who are covering the unrest in the region.

New York, September 14, 2012--Authorities must immediately release journalist Rami Aysha who has been detained without charge and abused since being seized more than two weeks ago while investigating alleged arms smuggling in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Cairo, June 19, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by what it sees as a trend in the attack of Lebanese journalists covering clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime. In the past month, at least nine journalists have been attacked in four separate incidents.

Lebanese cameraman Ali Shaaban was killed in Syria today. (AFP/Anwar Amro)

New York, April 9, 2012--Syrian security forces shot and killed a Lebanese cameraman today as he was working in the northern Lebanese town of Wadi Khaled near the Syrian border, according to the journalist's employer and news reports citing Lebanese officials. The cross-border death comes on the same day that Syrian security forces fired shots into a refugee camp near the Turkish border, injuring several people, news reports said.

The IFEX conference in Beirut put a focus on impunity in journalist murders. (Lidija Sabados/IFEX)

Members from around the world of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange met in Beirut last week. On the second day of our conference, amid discussions of the daily problems journalists face, we received word of the abduction and murder of Pakistani investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad. A day later, the conference buzzed with news of an arrest more than five years after the murder of iconic Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. As news unfolded in both cases, impunity--a recurring theme in official meetings and hallway conversations--loudly made its way to the forefront. And on June 2, IFEX members announced that they would join forces to globally put an end to journalists' murders and impunity for their killers, making November 23 the International Day to End Impunity.

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Killed in Lebanon

9 journalists killed since 1992

4 journalists murdered

4 murdered with impunity

Attacks on the Press 2012

1 Killed in 2012. A reporter covering Syrian conflict from the border is shot by Syrian agents.

Country data, analysis »

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Middle East
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Blog: Sherif Mansour
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