On Jan 2013, Blogger Rita Kamel, shared with her readers her disappointing experience with the Pan Arab Web Awards. (Hey Pan Arab Web Awards people, it is called an opinion piece).
She stated facts as they happened with her, provided screenshots and emails shared with her and finally her assessment (a negative one).
Few months later, and exactly on August 21st, Rita Kamel receives a call from the infamous cyber crimes office asking her to “drop by for a cup of coffee” without giving her any information to why she is summoned.
After hours of interrogations, she realizes that is a Benihana Saga all over again (What a wrong move eh?). Pan Arab Web Awards are suing her for libel and defamation, knowing that if you check her post, several renown figures of the media industry commented on her blog post and agreed with what she wrote.
This incident is becoming a recurring matter, bloggers are summoned to the cyber crimes office because of what they write, with no law to protect them or any clear procedure to follow, bloggers are left to live in stress and “fear” of what might happen.
I was interrogated several times, and I can say it is not a pleasant experience. Sadly you are being confined and questioned by officers who confuse the internet with Facebook and question every value and principle you ever believed in and on top of all that, you are forced to remove any blog post you have written, which means the “ruling” is already in place and the officer forced by the lawyer assume the judge’s role and poof! the post is gone.
As a lebanese citizen (second degree, being a woman) I demand to know what is the role of the cyber crime office? Where are the laws that should be put to protect bloggers who are exercising their freedom of speech? and till when one should live in fear of writing a meaningful blog post?