Two stand-up comedians have been detained for breaching public morality, reported al-Akhbar newspaper on Tuesday.
Edmond Haddad, known for his role on al-Jadeed television’s Chi.N.N. comedy show, and Rawiya al-Shab, who is a theater and film actress, were detained for a stand-up show they presented in 2009 at a pub in Gemmayzeh.
A local media outlet was covering the event and reported that their act had violated public morals when the comedians acted out a public auction in which men were auctioned off as a joke.
During the sketch, Haddad also reportedly showed some of his underwear, much to the disappointment of the unnamed media outlet.
The comedy show was initially held in order to raise money for the Brave Heart Fund on the occasion of Christmas in 2009.
The Fund is a volunteer driven initiative benefitting children with congenital heart disease.
The Beirut judge in charge of the case has held Haddad and al-Shab on charges of breaching public morals based solely on the newspaper article that initially made the complaint, said al-Akhbar.
The judge did not even consider viewing a dvd recording of the comedy show, it added.
Haddad was incredulous over the charges, at first believing them to be a “sick joke,” it continued.
Nizar Sarkis, Haddad and al-Shab’s lawyer, condemned the charges, likening them to oppression.
He told al-Akhbar that various ads and television comedy shows have committed greater offenses than the one that was allegedly made by the two comics.
He attributed the case to the spread of religious extremism in Lebanon and the region.
Haddad and al-Shab face a month in jail and a fine of LL200,000 if convicted.
A hearing in their case is scheduled for Wednesday.
A facebook page condemning the case has been formed.
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