ALERT: Lebanese authorities should cancel interrogation to EuroMed Rights President Al-Asmar and stop intimidating activists

Accountability, Justice and Space for Civil Society, Alerts

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Brussels, 16 August 2018

EuroMed Rights is deeply concerned about the interrogation request by Lebanese police forces that has just been made to its President Wadih Al-Asmar for his online activism.

This is not an isolated case, as several persons active on Social media (political, social and Human Rights activists) have recently been interrogated and sometimes arrested for expressing their opinion online and or for their human rights activism on social media. Some of them have even been detained, interrogated and intimidated before being ordered to sign a pledge in exchange for their release or to shutdown their social media presence for a determined period.

Such intimidation tactics have no legal basis in Lebanese law and are not in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Lebanon not only adopted but participated in drafting, which states clearly that “ Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (article 19).

We strongly condemn this attempt to silence activists and other individuals and ask Lebanese authorities to cancel the requested interrogation to Mr Al-Asmar and to put an end of the usage of the Cybercrimes bureau to intimidate activists.