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Watchdog denounces recent media freedom violations.

Summary: Physical attacks on journalists in Lebanon were the most striking violation of media freedom during July, the watchdog SKeyes said in its weekly report issued Thursday.

BEIRUT: Physical attacks on journalists in Lebanon were the most striking violation of media freedom during July, the watchdog SKeyes said in its weekly report issued Thursday.

The watchdog includes details of eight separate attacks on journalists throughout the month: on July 19, MTV correspondent Haytham Khawand and cameraman Jad Abou Antoun were beaten while covering a protest organized by supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement in front of the Energy Ministry, while OTV correspondent Edmond Sassine and photographer Roland Khoury were subsequently attacked while trying to help protect their colleagues.

SKeyes also denounces the beating by security services of Al-Diyar correspondent, Mahmoud al-Zayat and Al-Bina journalist, Jamal al-Gharbi, in Sidon on July 26 and the attempted attack by protesters on an MTV assistant photographer filming an FPM protest in Ashrafieh on the same day.

Also, the report adds, Abdel-Aziz Tarekji, the chairman of the Board of the Palestinian Association for Human Rights, Rased, was assaulted in Sidon.

Other media violations recorded by the watchdog throughout July include the removal of a painting by Lebanese artist Zeina al-Khalil from the Beirut Art Fair in BIEL, following pressure exerted by Hezbollah members July 7.

The painting depicted Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

The monthly report also mentions the removal, by U.S. companies Apple and Google, of the Al-Manar application from their app stories. The channel is affiliated with Hezbollah, which is blacklisted in the U.S. as a terrorist organization.

Elsewhere, the report adds, Ibrahim al-Amin, chief editor of Al-Akhbar newspaper, was transferred to the Publications Court for libel and slander on July 7 and Wissam Alaeddine, one of the suspects in the attack on the Al-Jadeed TV building in June remains in custody.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Aug 10, 2012
Words:327
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