Invitation to a Press Conference: Freedom of expression and the media, and obstructing justice in the crime of the Beirut port explosion

Invitation to a Press Conference

When: Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 11 AM

Venue: Antwork-Spears, Beirut

 

Freedom of expression and the media, and obstructing justice in the crime of the Beirut port explosion:

In the aftermath of the Beirut Port explosion on August 4, 2020, the most heinous crime to follow the civil war, countless obstacles have been placed before the judicial investigation to prevent truth from prevailing.  This strategy mimics the events that unfolded after the civil war, where the culture of collective amnesia and impunity reigned above the rule of law.

Some publications, media outlets and politicians have contributed to obfuscating the truth and propagating the culture of unaccountability under various pretexts in the crime of the Beirut Port explosion.

Therefore, coinciding with the increase in coordinated incitement campaigns that sow doubt in the work of the judiciary, undermine its independence, and entrench impunity and the absence of the rule of law, the “Freedom of Opinion and Expression Coalition” and the “Coalition for the Independence of the Judiciary,” with the participation of independent civil society actors, invite you to a press conference on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at 11 AM, in “Antwork,” Spears Street in Beirut.

The conference aims to amplify the voice of civil society and the media to underscore the importance of the independence of the judiciary and the role it plays in bolstering accountability, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

Justice and the rule of law cannot be attained without an independent judiciary and an independent media that can cover judicial cases in a professional manner and accurately convey information to the public, eschewing political agendas. This is necessary to establish confidence in the judiciary rather than spreading misleading and fabricated news, while placing certain political actors, who are subject to interrogation by the judiciary, beyond accountability and above the rule of law.

The conference will take place amidst an environment of incitement and vilification of independent actors who are offering an alternative vision of accountability and the possibility of a state built on the rule of law.

The conference will include speeches by representatives of the two coalitions and participating groups.

 

Freedom of Opinion and Expression Coalition
Coalition for the Independence of the Judiciary

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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.