BEIRUT: Unidentified men attacked Al Jadeed station early Thursday morning, throwing flammable material into its garage.
This resulted in a blaze that damaged one of the TV’s broadcast vehicles.
“This act is a direct threat to freedom of expression in Lebanon, and is entirely denounced and rejected,” Minister of Information, Melhem Riachi said at the scene of the attack.
Investigations into the attack are still ongoing, and Judge Samir Hammoud requested the judicial police and the Criminal Evidence office to immediately examine the site of the attack.
“Security camera videos clearly showed how two men sneaked into a building directly adjacent to Al Jadeed station,” said Ibrahim Al Halabi, director of Public Relations at Al Jadeed noting that the attackers weren’t masked.
Al Halabi added that "if it weren’t for the interference of the employees of the station and the Civil Defense, the fire would have blown up the cars and generators that were very close to the incident. We survived a true disaster.”
This is the latest in a number of attacks targeting the station in recent months. Al Jadeed’s lawyer May Habli criticized the concerned authorities’ failure in pursuing the assaillants.
In February, more than 300 demonstrators gathered in front of the station, some carrying flags of Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal Movement, and tried to break into the station’s building.
Amal supporters were then protesting against a satirical show aired by Al Jadeed. The protestors claimed the show was an insult to Imam Moussa Al Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement who has been missing since 1978 and is presumed dead. Demonstrators broke windows and threw a hail of eggs and fireworks on the station.
Many local journalists and officials are showing solidarity with Al Jadeed station, commenting that what happened involves a wider issue than just one station, but rather is an attack on Lebanon’s democracy and freedom of expression.
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