Across the Bay

Friday, December 16, 2005

Press in Lebanon in Danger

This is from AFP:

The head of media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for world mobilisation after the slaying of anti-Syrian Lebanese press magnate and MP Gibran Tueni.

"All the anti-Syrian press in Lebanon is in danger. Not just one newspaper or two," Robert Menard told a press conference at the headquarters of Tueni's An-Nahar newspaper.

"There is an urgent need for the international media to mobilize. We cannot be mere spectators because other journalists will be killed," Menard said.

"We must press the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to act," he added.

Tueni was killed Monday in a devastating car bombing, in the latest attack against critics of Damascus. Many Lebanese have blamed Syria for the bloodshed, claims it has strongly denied.

Anti-Syrian columnist Samir Kassir was killed in a similar attack in June while anchorwoman May Chidiac was mutilated in a massive bomb attack in September.

Undemocratic countries like China, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, etc. may find this unobjectionable, but the rest of the free world should take a stand. This is why what Michael wrote yesterday is so important (see post below). Or else, it's open season on free voices. It already is.

Lebanon has no way to counter this, and no one in Lebanon has the mindset (forget the means) of responding in kind. What we have is freedom and the pen. The murderous thug in Damascus has car bombs (and cover from useful idiots and other despotic regimes).

Or is it that the free world only takes stands against America?