National Bloc: Itani’s imprisonment is unacceptable, maximum penalty for journalists should be monetary fines

The Lebanese National Bloc Party denounces the imprisonment of journalists or others for the reason of expressing an opinion, as happened with the journalist Fidaa Itani, and called for a reasonable fine instead. In its statement the Bloc asserted that the Lebanese constitution is based on the respect of freedom of expression within the confines of the law, thus imprisoning a person for stating an opinion is contrary to the constitution’s core and spirit.

Although the Bloc found Itani’s style of expression to be objectionable, it also finds that style to be a reflection of the level of disgust of citizens with the Parties/sects, and also a reflection of the fragmentation, impoverishment and bankruptcy of the government, waste of public funds and sectarian sentiment. The Bloc also regretted that this kind of punishment took place on World Press Freedom Day.

The Lebanese National Bloc reminded the ruling political class that they could not have attained their positions of power if it wasn’t for freedom of expression and the right to practice political activity, pointing out that Lebanon has never been a dictatorship like neighboring countries, including the Israeli pseudo-democracy because of its racism and criminality against the Palestinian people.

The Bloc stated that what distinguishes Lebanon and its people who have excelled on the intellectual, scientific, artistic, and economic levels worldwide is freedom in all its forms, and that the party will remain committed to keeping freedom alive and well.

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