Freedom of Expression in Lebanon: Future threats and opportunities. [Bread&Net 2020 Session]

In this #BreadandNet 2020 session, Aya Majzoub from Human Rights Watch and Ayman Mhanna from Samir Kassir Foundation, moderated by Mohamad Najem from SMEX, discuss freedom of speech in Lebanon. There have been no new laws to govern speech in Lebanon, but so many things have changed in freedom of expression. One major change is increased connectivity of course. This led to changes in citizens’ perceptions of politics, government, politicians, etc. From the October 17 uprising to the economic collapse, and the August 4 explosion, all these incidents and catastrophes exponentially opened the space for citizens to express themselves with some pushback from the state representatives. The numbers of detainees are no doubt on the rise, but the space for expression is wider now. During this session, we will discuss the potential threats, and future opportunities to gain more space for expression in Lebanon.

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SMEX is a registered Lebanese NGO that works to advance self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa.