USUP Internal Affairs Secretary Hajjar: Lebanese judiciary suppressing freedom of speech, targeting journalist Rami Naim with same tactics used against USUP President Ibrahim Mrad

BEIRUT — During a press conference held by Lebanese journalist Rami Naim following his summoning before Judge Ghada Aoun over comments he made critical of Hezbollah, Internal Affairs Secretary of the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) in Lebanon Joseph Hajjar denounced the unjust move by the judiciary to Lebanon Certainty News

Hajjar rejected the suppression of the freedom of speech and expression by the courts, indicating that this type of pressure was also used against USUP President Ibrahim Mrad after he made comments critical of the treatment of Christians in the country.

They tried to silence Mrad by fabricating a video against him, said Hajjar, adding that they accused him of calling for the hanging of Muslims.

The questioning of Naim is an inexcusable violation against the media, he said. Such practices have happened to many other journalists in systematic attempts to silence them, Hajjar added.

World Council for the Cedars Revolution Lebanon Director Attorney Regina Kantara also showed support for the call of Mrad and other sovereignists for the Lebanese people to be able to live in peace and security without interference of armed militias, especially Hezbollah, which have ruined the country and the livelihoods of its people.

Two weeks ago, USUP President and Secretary General of Christian Front of Lebanon Ibrahim Mrad was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) to be questioned over comments he made in a video he published to Facebook.

In the video, Mrad called for the Lebanese state to be liberated from Iranian control and called on the Lebanese people to militarily confront Iranian-back Hezbollah.

After a series of transgressions and abuses targeting Christians in the country, Mrad released a video condemning the current situation. “The Lebanese people from all denominations must live in coexistence, separate from the armed militias that want to rule Lebanon,” he stated.

Hezbollah and its supporters selectively edited the full video released by Mrad and spread it via social media without its original context. Shortly afterwards, Mrad reportedly began receiving death threats.

The CIB summoned Mrad for interrogation about the content of the video.

Following six hours of questioning, Mrad was released. He was summoned again the following day.