Lebanese film director detained for filming in Israel

French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri appears before military court over his filming of a movie in Israel.

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Ziad Doueiri
Ziad Doueiri
Reuters

French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri appeared before a military court on Monday over his filming of a movie in Israel, AFP reported.

After the hearing, the court released Zoueiri and agreed to return his confiscated passports, according to the report.

The 54-year-old was briefly detained on Sunday night after arriving in Lebanon to premiere his new film "The Insult".

He was subsequently released but his passports were confiscated and he was ordered to appear before a military court over his 2013 movie "The Attack", which he filmed partly in Israel.

Lebanon, which is officially at war with Israel, bans its citizens from visiting the Jewish state.

After a hearing of several hours at a Beirut military court, Doueiri walked free, brandishing his two passports.

"My client was released. No charges have been filed against him," Doueiri's lawyer Najib Lyan told reporters, according to AFP, adding that the case would be "definitively closed".

However, a judicial source told AFP "it is possible that the issue will be referred to a military court, for the crime of entering an enemy country without prior authorization".

Lebanon banned “The Attack” in 2013 because it was partly shot in Tel Aviv using Israeli actors. Doueiri later said the Arab League had also taken steps to prevent the film from being shown.

Doueiri is in Lebanon to promote "The Insult", which opened to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival and earned Palestinian Arab actor Kamel El Basha the Volpi Cup for best actor.

Lebanon has chosen the film as its official entry for the foreign film category at the Oscars.

"The Insult" is due to premiere in Beirut on Tuesday.