English PEN is concerned that writer and political activist Hani H. Nsouli is facing charges of ‘defamation’ in his native Lebanon. His first hearing will be held on 22 January 2019.
According to PEN’s information, Nsouli’s trial is related to social media publications and a comment he circulated via WhatsApp, in which he reportedly criticised a political figure. The person in question has filed a lawsuit against Nsouli for slander and defamation under articles 582-584 of the Lebanese penal code.
PEN considers that defamation should be addressed solely as a matter of civil law within the national jurisdiction of the concerned state and are calling for the criminal charges against Hani H. Nsouli to be dropped immediately. We also urge the Lebanese authorities to repeal or amend its laws in accordance with its obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression and impart information under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
For further background information, please visit the PEN International website.
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Write to the authorities
Join PEN in calling on the Lebanese authorities to:
- Immediately drop the criminal charges against Hani H. Nsouli and to ensure the full respect of his right to freedom of expression;
- Abolish or amend its criminal defamation laws and ensure that adequate safeguards to protect the right to reputation are provided solely through civil law;
- Allow the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including dropping all charges against writers and journalists under investigation or detention solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights.
Mr. Salim Jean Jreissati, Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Sami Soloh Street – Adlieh Area – 5th floor
Beirut – Lebanon
Fax: 00961 (0) 1-611142
Mr. Nohad Machnouk, Minister of Interior and Municipalities
Al-Sane’ – al-Hamra
PO Box: 9710 – 9500
Beirut – Lebanon
Fax: 00961 (0) 1750084
It is recommended that you send a copy of your appeals via the diplomatic representative for Lebanon in your country. Contact details for embassies can be found here
** Please keep us informed of any action you take in regard to Hani H. Nsouli’s case, including any responses you receive from the authorities.