Karim Hawa, a new victim in the cyber space in Lebanon

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No more phone calls inviting you to come and drink a cup of coffee at the Cybercrime unit office, this time the call claimed that Karim is using a stolen phone, and his presence is important to close the case (as per LBC report).

Karim Hawa, a young Lebanese was detained in the cybercrime unit since Thursday. One of my sources (who prefer to stay anonymous) confirmed that it is related to a story he shared on his Facebook profile.
An accusation of the Lebanese law maker, Ziad Aswad to Minister Nouhad Machnouk broke the story. A new contract was signed between the Ministry of Interior with a Lebanese company Inkript to make the move for biometric passport.
The accusation made that Inkript sub-contracted Gamalto, a company with an Israeli link (based in The Netherlands).
Karim published and shared this story, and for now, this is his accusation, as the first source confirmed. Karim’s detention might be related to creating a fake account on Twitter for the Minister of Interior, Nouhad Machnouk, another source added.
After Karim’s detention was exposed on LBC. I asked the head of Cybercrime unit on Twitter about this case and requested more transparency (update: She deleted all her tweets after). I analyze what she replied in 3 points:
  • There will be a reply with more transparency
  • She is following the public prosecutor and that Karim knew the reason behind requesting his presence
  • It’s not ok to insult people and attack them morally, there’s a difference between freedom of expression and defamation.

Defamation law in Lebanon needs to be adapt, people are changing and occupying new spaces that didn’t exist before in the freedom of expression, the law should be amended to accommodate these changes. Excluding the detention and the arrest from this charge, and make it only a civil case is a good start, to begin with.
We will be waiting for more updates from cybercrime unit on Karim’s case, who’s still detained at the time I am publishing this.


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