Rights groups are calling for the release of a US journalist in Lebanon
Media outlets in Lebanon widely reported that a freelance American journalist who was detained unlawfully had been released!
Nada Homsi was arrested in November of 2017 by the General Security Directorate without a judicial order. She’s now been held at an undisclosed detention location and her captors have yet to be publicly identified.
A French woman has been detained for smoking a cannabis joint in her flat. Her lawyer says she only does this as part of her religious rituals. The Associated Press reported that the officers confiscated her electronics and some documents, so she told them.
General Security goes to many important places, including borders, ports, and airports. It also helps foreign travelers get their visas and residency permits.
HRW has said that General Security officers broke into Homsi’s apartment without a warrant and denied her access to the lawyer. They also violated her rights when they put her in detention.
Chehade says her friend lives in Lebanon’s predominantly Christian neighborhood of Achrafieh and had raised a Palestinian flag on the apartment earlier this year. When the mayor complained to the Lebanese army, Chehade was not happy about it because she does not believe it is right for Lebanon to be run by one church. The US Army intelligence members came to her home and asked for the flag she had on her wall to be removed. In response, Homsi wrote about a Facebook post documenting the incident in May.
Chehade commented, “I believe that one of the main motives for the raid was the cannabis in their possession.” They found it during their raid.
The rights groups said that although the public prosecutor ordered her release on November 25, General Security issued a deportation order for her. Although the government agency has not yet been charged due to its complicating matters, she’s still been unjustly detained.
“General Security’s refusal to release Homsi despite the public prosecution’s order is a blatant abuse of power and a very worrying indication of the security agency’s lack of respect for the rule of law,” said Majzoub. He went on to say that it is indeed an extremely worrying development with regards to Egypt’s stability & international
On her Twitter account, Homsi has been working for National Public Radio, NPR, and has written about Syria & Lebanon for several regional outlets. She recently wrote on NPR’s website
General Security officers insist that Homsi is being detained “for security reasons,” but it’s been difficult to find out the specific circumstances of her detention. The government has not given Chehade sufficient info on the case for her to prepare a defense. No charges were filed against Homsi and she was charged for drugs.
The Public Prosecutor’s office in Beirut ordered her release by November 25th. However, General Security kept her up for about two more days under the pretext that she was working illegally in Lebanon without a work permit.
Officials have not given any details on Homsi’s arrest, but that was probably because security reasons didn’t make sense.
General Security’s struggle to uphold the law makes the arrest a difficult one for the foreigner. General Security has been seen detaining other foreigners in similar circumstances with no solutions yet to be found.