Military Court Orders 6-Month Jail Term for Journalist Hanin Ghaddarإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Military Court has handed down a six-month prison sentence to a journalist for presenting views critical of the army, a court official told the AFP news agency on Thursday.
Hanin Ghaddar, also a researcher known for her criticism of Hizbullah, was sentenced in absentia on January 10 over an expose at a conference in the United States, the source said.
Her sentence sparked outrage among fellow journalists and academics in Lebanon, where they said free speech and freedom of the press were once again being challenged.
The court official said the ruling found Ghaddar, a U.S. resident, guilty of "defaming the Lebanese Army, harming its reputation and accusing it of distinguishing between Lebanese citizens."
During a conference session in Washington in 2014, a recording of which is available online, she described the situation in Lebanon as "Sunnis being clamped down by Hizbullah and the Lebanese Army versus Hizbullah militia being the untouchables."
The Military Court in Lebanon has a very broad jurisdiction over civilians and rights groups have voiced concern that could be used as a tool for intimidation against free speech and activism.