B The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa (OHCHR-MENA), in collaboration with Maharat Foundation, held today a Roundtable Discussion on Lebanon’s international obligations in the field of Human Rights on “Renewing adherence to international standards of the right to Freedom of Opinion, Expression and the press”.
Parliamentarians, academics, media professionals and representatives of civil society organizations participated in the discussion, which served as an opportunity to identify gaps in Lebanese domestic laws that are not in line with the international standards related to the right to freedoms of opinion, expression and the press.
The Regional Representative of the United Nations Human Rights in the MENA region Ms. Roueida El Hage inaugurated the roundtable discussion by introducing the international human rights framework regulating the right to freedom of expression and the interaction of Lebanon with human rights mechanisms.
The Member of Parliament and the President of Justice and Administration Committee at the Lebanese Parliament Mr. George Adwan addressed the Lebanese framework in particular the vision of Parliament regarding a press law that would conform with international human rights norms. He expected its enactment in 2019.
Mr Ghassan Moukhayber, former Member of Parliament, discussed the needed legislative reforms to enable a broadening environment for the press, while Mr. Melhem Riachy, Former Minister of Information, raised the challenges faced by the Ministry on the legal and institutional level.
Ms. Roula Mikhayel, Founder and President of Maharat Foundation and Ms. Mariam Al Bassam, Head of News Department at AL Jadeed TV, addressed the challenges faced by civil society and media.
The discussion concluded with a set of recommendations paving the way for a road map to promote and protect the right to freedom of opinion, expression and the press.