Reporters Without Borders welcomed the resumption of broadcasting yesterday by Future TV and Future News and Radio Orient, and the reappearance today of the daily al-Mustakbal - four media owned by Future Movement leader, Saâd Hariri, which were silenced for five days by Hezbollah.
Future TV and satellite news channel Future News, as well as Radio Orient were back on air yesterday from 4.30pm. The daily al-Mustakbal appeared again the following day, all at new premises, in the Sin el-fil district of Beirut. Director of news, Imad Assi, confirmed the resumption to Reporters Without Borders, adding, “We don't have the same technical capacity in these premises, but we are determined that our voice should be heard again.”
Presenter Najat Sharafeddin said the harassment from Hezbollah would undoubtedly have a harmful effect on the working climate for Lebanon's journalists.
“While we are pleased that these four media have reopened, this does not change the fact that the actions of Hezbollah are unacceptable,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “The party, which trumpeted its commitment to press freedom when its TV station al-Manar was banned from broadcasting on the Eutelsat, is threatening the gains of the Lebanese press which until now has enjoyed a freedom unequalled in the region”.
Elsewhere, journalists unions reported that several of their members had been attacked on the fringe of clashes between Hezbollah militants and government supporters.
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