Highly politicized media, free speech under attack
Lebanon’s media are outspoken but also extremely politicized and polarized. Its newspapers, radio stations and TV channels serve as the mouthpieces of political parties or businessmen. Lebanon’s criminal code regards defamation and the dissemination of false information as crimes and defines them very broadly. In 2017, the judicial authorities harassed the well-known TV host Marcel Ghanem for allowing guests to criticize the Lebanese authorities during his programme. Journalists who are prosecuted and convicted by military or print media courts are usually fined or sometimes sentenced in absentia to imprisonment. 2018 saw an increase in cases of bloggers and online journalists receiving subpoenas from the “bureau for combatting cyber-crimes” because a social network post had elicited a complaint from a private party, often a prominent person linked to the government.
100 in 2018
31.15 in 2018