6-month jail for Lebanese journalist critical of Hezbollah

Journalist sentenced in absentia over exposé at US conference; 'Sunnis clamped down by Hezbollah and Lebanese army vs untouchable Hezbollah'

AFP, Mordechai Sones ,

Hezbollah parade
Hezbollah parade

A Lebanese military court handed down a six-month prison sentence to a journalist for presenting views critical of the army, a court official told AFP today.

Hanin Ghaddar, also a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow known for her criticism of the Hezbollah militias, was sentenced in absentia on January 10 over an exposé at a US conference, the source said.

Her sentence sparked outrage among journalists and academics in Lebanon, where they said free speech and freedom of the press were once again being challenged.

Nasrallah worship

The court official said the ruling found Ghaddar, a US resident, guilty of “defaming the Lebanese army, harming its reputation and accusing it of distinguishing between Lebanese citizens.”

During a 2014 Washington conference, a recording of which is available online, she described the situation in Lebanon as “Sunnis being clamped down by Hezbollah and the Lebanese army versus Hezbollah militia being the untouchables.”