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Conflict Incident Report
Communist party protests Rahbani verdict
Communist Party members rallied outside Beirut’s Palace of Justice protesting the recent verdict against musician, playwright and political commentator Ziad Rahbani. “We are here in solidarity with Ziad Rahbani,” Communist Party leader Hanna Gharib told reporters, criticizing governmental measures against freedom of speech. Rahbani lost a defamation lawsuit filed by Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea and was fined LL1 million ($667) plus additional expenses. Geagea initially sued Rahbani in 2013 after Rahbani made remarks on the National Broadcasting Network comparing the Muslim Brotherhood political movement to Geagea’s strategies. Rahbani also discussed the 1994 bombing of Kesrouan’s Our Lady of Salvation Church – an incident that Geagea was accused of orchestrating and for which he subsequently served time.