Lebanon’s Judge Pledges Resignation if Questioned, FM Summons US Ambassador


June 28, 2020


Lebanon Judge Mohammad Mazeh pledged on Sunday that he would resign should he be questioned over his ruling against the US ambassador.

“Some news websites have reported that Mr. State Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oueidat has referred me to judicial inspection over ineligibility. I have not been informed of anything in this regard,” the urgent matters judge in the southern city of Tyre said in a statement.

“Should the issue turn out to be true, and before being referred to inspection over a ruling I issued with a clear conscience and full conviction… I hereby submit a request to be relieved of my duties at the judiciary, which I will officially submit on Tuesday,” Mazeh added.

State Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat later denied that he had referred Mazeh to judicial inspection.

This came as Minister of Foreign Affairs Nassif Hitti summoned the American Ambassador to a meeting on Monday at 3:00 p.m., in wake of her recent statements.

Shea blatantly infringed on Lebanon’s sovereignty by using a hateful terminology against the Lebanese government in a clear intervention in the country’s domestic affairs.

During an interview with Saudi-owned news channel Al-Hadath aired on Friday, Shea had said that the United States has “grave concerns about the role of Hezbollah,” describing it as “a designated terrorist organization.”

“It has siphoned off billions of dollars that should have gone into government coffers so that the government can provide basic services to its people,” she said accusing the resistance party of obstruction to economic reforms to the Lebanese economy.

This statement is considered a violation of the first paragraph of Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, which obliges the diplomat to respect the laws and regulations of the independent state and avoid interfering in its internal affairs

Mazeh has sparked a storm of hailing and suspicious criticism after he placed a yearlong gag order on local and international media outlets in Lebanon to interview US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea.

Mazeh said he acted after receiving a complaint from a citizen who considered Shea’s comments insulting to the Lebanese people.

The media outlets which interview Shea “would be contributing intentionally or unintentionally to the blatant aggression on the rights of those who feel insulted from the interview,” Mazeh wrote in a decision in which he said Shea’s comments incited sectarian strife and threatened social peace.

The judge said violators would be penalized with a one-year suspension and asked the Information Ministry to disseminate the order.

Several Lebanese officials hailed the ban as “brave”, saying Shea had crossed a line by interfering in Lebanon’s internal affairs.

Taking to Twitter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad wrote that the judiciary may be reacting to the interference of some diplomats in the country’s affairs.

However, “no one has the right to prevent the media from covering news or undermine press freedoms,” she wrote.

Source: Websites

Lebanon: Judicial Decision Bans Media Outlets from Hosting US Ambassador



The emergency matters judge, Mohammad Mazeh, issued Saturday a decision which bans the US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea from making media statements.

The judicial decision also prohibits the media outlets from hosting Shea under the penalty of closure and imposition of fines which reach up to tens of millions.

The US diplomat has recently made several statements in which she accused Hezbollah of destabilizing Lebanon, instigating the various Lebanese segments against the Resistance.

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