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Conflict Incident Report

Communist party protests Rahbani verdict

Date of incident: 
April 6, 2017
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians
Lebanese Communist Party (LCP)

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.

Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Policy conflicts
Conflicts associated with political decisions, government or state policies regarding matters of public concern, such as debates concerning law reforms, electoral laws, and protests of the government’s political decisions, among others.