Imprisonment Penalty Against Journalists - July 2023

The imprisonment case of Dima Sadek, based on a criminal verdict related to expressing an opinion, resulted in divisions among the concerned parties' stances. Meanwhile, the verdict raised concerns among a broad spectrum of media outlets, journalists, politicians, and advocates for freedom of expression, all agreeing that the imposed penalty is "unjust" and a "dangerous precedent," necessitating a united stance in the "battle to defend freedoms.".


Another faction did not express solidarity with Sadek, considering that the judiciary had spoken its verdict. Meanwhile, a moderate group expressed support for Sadek despite their disagreement with her expression style and the content of her discourse.


As for the official position, it came from the chairman of the Information and Communication Committee, who emphasized that freedom must be responsible and avoid veering into hate speech or racist discourse.


This issue brings forth the topic of hate speech on social media platforms and the legal provisions governing it in the Lebanese Penal Code, particularly Article 317.


This report monitors the media coverage of the verdict by television channels, newspapers, alternative media, and online platforms. It also tracks the opinions of organizations and stakeholders and was prepared within the project "Media Reform to Enhance Freedom of Expression in Lebanon."


To check out the report:

Imprisonment Penalty Against Journalists - July 2023