Lebanon ranks 98th out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index of 2015.

Today’s the World Press Freedom day, here’s the data for Lebanon.

Out of 180 countries in the world, Lebanon ranks 98th in the press freedom index (1st being the most free). This index in done yearly by the Reporters Without Borders.

Understandably, Lebanon is considered to be a country with “Noticeable problems” by the index and as “Partly free” from the Freedom House. In 2014, no Journalists or “Net-Person” were killed because of their activities. The good news is that the score of 2015 improved by 8 place. Lebanon ranked 106th in 2014, 101st in 2013 and 2012 (out of 178 countries for 2012 and 2013).

Lebanon is still very far from the good scores of 2008 and 2009. It ranked respectably 66th and 61st (out of 168 and 170 countries). We can see that the press freedom has fell down well before the war in Syria, so my theory is that the collapse of Hariri’s government might explain the fall of our rank.

Lebanon is well placed in the MENA region, placed 2nd behind Kuwait with a worldwide rank of 90th and before our not-so friendly neighbour Israel with a rank of 101. Lebanon is also the MENA country that made the biggest jump with 8 places, Tunisia jumped 7 places. Syria our other not-so friendly neighbour, ranks 177th, and is the least free country of the MENA region; an effect, of course of the war and the Assad regime censorship.

We are maybe well placed in the region, but the region is very badly placed in the world with a best rank of 90. The press isn’t only repressed from within or from conscious self-censorship, but from outside. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, (STL), accuses the journalist Kharma Khayat and the channel al Jadeed of endangering supposed confidential witnesses by filming them for a report after learning of their identity from an anonymous leak. This is the first time that a TV station has been the subject of a prosecution by an international court.

France’s Hypocrisy or the illusion of Freedom.

France is always showing off with its history, its revolution, the declaration of the rights of Man and the Citizen, the monarchy abolition. And it has the right to brag about its past, but the present France doesn’t respect itself regarding its history.

Why does France is somehow the first country to welcome the new dictator of Egypt Sisi, a leader that massacres his own people at protests. A “leader” that closes the border of Rafah, the only exit for Palestinians in Gaza that wanted to save their lives during the last Israeli massacre, and that still want to evade the Israeli blockade.

Liberté-Égalité-Fraternité is France national motto, yet it seems that this is only applicable to Frenchmen and not the citizens of the world.

Hollande isn’t the first president to develop a friendship with a dictator, nor France the first country ; Sarkozy welcomed in Paris his late friend Gaddafi, ex-bloody dictator of Libya, and it has been revealed that Gaddafi had paid for Sarkozy’s presidency campaign. Years later, Sarkozy was the first to call for international action in Libya, talk about dirty politics…

At every speech  about freedom and equality, you will be laughed at, because you openly ally yourself with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other dictators of the world.

Continue reading France’s Hypocrisy or the illusion of Freedom.

The West hypocritical relations with Saudi Arabia.

Obama-Saudi

I have always found the relations between the United States, its allies with Saudi Arabia  highly hypocritical.

United States is the master when it speaks for freedom, equality, rights. It is the first country to condemn violations of human rights etc. It’s beautiful words, addressed only to those who are not benefiting the United States.

Let’s take a look at Saudi Arabia regime and give a few examples.

  • The World knows that Saudi Arabia bans driving for Woman, one was sentenced to 10 lashes because she did not respect the ban.

Every Woman has a male guardian, she cannot, without the permission of this male guardian, travel, work, go to school or get medical treatment, it also bans them from sport. It even installed a system that alerted the male guardian with an sms when the woman “under his control” left the country.

Did the United said something about it ? Did it condemn it ? No.

  • To give you another crazy story.

In 2013 a “cleric” has raped and tortured his 5 year-old daughter because he has doubted her virginity… he was imprisoned..and released few days ago.

Al-Ghamdi, however, has now been released as “blood money and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment” a judge ruled, according to Albawaba News.

  • Another one, this one is recent and funny.

The very serious Saudi Interior Ministry have released a statement to back the chaos and the terrorist threat, it banned very dangerous names !

Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.

The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or “inappropriate”.

This is the friend of the United States in the Middle East.

  • Let’s get back to more serious cases.

Bahrain has known popular uprising since 2011, back when “the Arab Spring” began. The protests were severely reprimanded, and human crimes happened. The Bahrain government used systematic torture (page 219) and other forms of physical and psychological abuse on detainees. Remind you of another regime highly condemned by the West ? No ? Syria!The Bahrain government called the “help” of 1000 Saudi troops. Faint condemnations from the West.

  • Finally, controversies happen within the kingdom itself.

The “king” himself is imprisoning his daughters in a house, really shocking story. And it’s not rumors, his ex-wife said that she did not see her children for over 10 years.

The list is exhaustive, endless, the previous examples are a fragment of the atrocities, the repressions that happen in Saudi Arabia. I have not talked about SA involvement in terrorism with Syria.

No real condemnation from the United States, from the EU, how can you criticize your oil provider ? (watch Palmes d’or Fahrenheit 9/11)

Well known non-government organizations like Amnesty International and Humans Right Watch condemns the kingdom.

To end the story,  Prince Charles visited Saudi Arabia few weeks ago, he participated in the traditional Saudi Arabian Sword dance. How does SA apply the capital punishment ? Beheading by sword, in public.