Hizballah sues Lebanese TV host for 'slander and libel'

Hizballah sues Lebanese TV host for 'slander and libel'
Blog: Hizballah has reportedly filed charges against Dima Sadek for raising sensitive questions regarding the militant group's alleged ties to the international drug trade.
2 min read
02 Nov, 2015
Dima Sadek is host of a political talk show on local network LBCI [Facebook/Dima Sadek]
Dima Sadek, a well-known Lebanese TV host, has on Monday told her Facebook fans that she has been summoned by the Department of Central Criminal Investigation - after Hizballah apparently lodged a complaint against her for "libel and slander".

The complaint was motivated by questions Sadek addressed to Faisal Abdul-Sater, a guest who appeared on her talk show on Saturday, revolving around the case of illegal "Captagon" amphetamine pills believed to be manufactured in Lebanon.

Sadek said she was surprised by the summons, which came from a law enforcement agency rather than the Court of Publications, the usual authority that handles libel cases.

The charge itself appears unprecedented. Sadek has been sued merely for asking questions to a guest who represented Hizballah's view, who had the full freedom to answer, as she pointed out.

Dima Sadek is now set to appear before Appellate Prosecutor Imad Qabalan on Wednesday, to present her statement. Sadek said her lawyers - who watched the interview in question - believe libel charges do not apply.

Al-Araby al-Jadeed
tried to reach Sadek but she declined to comment.

The legal action taken by the powerful militant group against a journalist is the latest in a series of developments that indicate freedoms are declining in Lebanon, a country that enjoys relatively more freedoms compared with other Arab nations.

In September, activists were detained following anti-government protests, while journalists received prison sentences because of social media posts.

Last week, a Saudi prince was arrested at Beirut International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle two tonnes of amphetamine pills out of the country.