Everyone is talking about Jean Assi today. The young man who went to the cyber crimes offices for an interrogation (I put all this sentence, just to say he was not arrested). The interrogation is about some defamatory tweets against the President of Lebanese Republic, Michel Sleiman.
Everyone on twitter became Jean Assi, and they share a tweet of him replying to Ragheb Alameh, saying that this is why he is in trouble. Logically speaking, the below tweet won’t cause anyone any trouble, it is not defamatory or implies a direct insult to the president.
Anyhow, I went back in Jean’s timeline a couple of month, and his tweets are not really “nice” per say. I mean we all know Jean, yalli bi albo 3a rass lsseno, as we say. And if you go back in his timeline, you would find some tweets that are considered “defamatory” or insulting.
First of all, under lebanese law, you can not insult the president or any major religious figure or you will face jail time or a substantial fine. I am of course with abolishing this ridiculous law.
Second, if Jean was really taken into interrogation for insulting the president, then it is more likely because of the below tweets
Now this is under the current law, a direct act of defamation that is punishable by law (a law that i am totally against again), and it is not really freedom of speech, I mean HATE Speech doesn’t fall under freedom of speech, no matter where this hate is coming from, and whether it is justified or not.
Criticizing public and political figures is the right of every citizen and journalist in all democratic societies, however the criticism should be within the limists of generally accepted framework. I mean you can not criticize someone by trash talking him, it just weakens the argument.
Adding to that, the fact that laws are applied selectively in this country is just disgusting, I mean hate speech is being broadcasted on prime time television and in newspapers, people are attacking each other with words and weapons and they are not being dragged into the cyber crime office or any office for this matter. So if you want me to trust in the state better judgment and in its laws, then these laws should apply on everyone without any single exception.
On a lighter note, FPM politicians supported Jean Assi, and Gebran Bassil changed his profile photo to Jean’s