Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Lebanese Intelligence transfers Zaman Al Wasl reporter to infamous prison as HR violations mount

DETAINEES | 2018-05-30 16:28:09
Lebanese Intelligence transfers Zaman Al Wasl reporter to infamous prison as HR violations mount
   Zaman Al Wasl reporter Abdul Hafiz al-Houlani
 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Lebanese Military Intelligence transferred Zaman Al Wasl reporter Abdul Hafiz al-Houlani to the infamous prison of Defense Army after a week of his arrest from a Syrian refugee camp in the border town of Arsal, sources said.

Al-Houlani, 40, was arrested by the four Military Intelligence agents who raided his tent in the al-Wafa Camp on May 24, relatives said.

Lebanese social media pages claimed that al-Houlani was inciting refugees against the Lebanese state and its army; such claims are no more than false pretenses.

A Lebanese Intelligence official revealed that the reason behinds al-Houlani arrest is his media activities, according 
to one of the camp officials.

The Lebanese Ministry of Defense and army officials have used the courts’ broad jurisdiction to intimidate individuals or retaliate against critical speech or activism. Children have also reported being tortured while awaiting prosecution in these courts, according to Human Rights Watch.
 
Since 2012, Al-Houlani has been covering the suffering of Syrian refugees and reporting about their harsh living conditions in the refugee camps of Arsal through a series of feature stories that only emphasize on the humanitarian issues.

The Lebanese government’s actions are very similar to the Syrian regime's actions in chasing media activists and citizen journalists, Syrian activists say.

Trials in the Lebanese military courts do not respect due process rights and violate international law, Human Rights Watch said. 

HRW and Lebanese organizations have for years documented a pattern of torture by Lebanese military forces. Civilians tried before the military courts on terrorism or security related offenses say they were tortured into confessing, and the coerced confessions were used as evidence against them in court. None had access to a lawyer or their families during interrogations.

Zaman Al Wasl news site is condemning the arrest of its reporter and calling for his immediate release. Zaman Al Wasl, also, calls on International rights groups to press on the Lebanese authorities to release our jailed journalist. 

Since the press freedom is fundamental to any democratic society, Zaman Al Wasl demands the Lebanese government to release al-Houlani and to not undermine freedom of speech under any pretext. 

Zaman Al Wasl
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