Diana Semaan- Amnesty International Syria Researcher
As I have been watching events unfurl in Lebanon I can’t help but ask myself: Is the use of excessive force and arbitrary detention by security forces in Lebanon against protesters eerily reminiscent of the conduct of security forces in Syria?
It is no doubt painful that your friend should wish you were burnt alive. But such an angry comment is only a detail when it comes to years of incomparable hatred and menace against us, the Shia who oppose the “Big Brother.”
The Lebanese uprising requires whoever stands against it to come up with a new method of opposition. Fault lines the authorities have long resorted to have now been completely obliterated. The state’s reaction to the uprising has been risible. “An agent of foreign embassies” is an old accusation they hurled at anyone who took to the streets. They once coined it to describe and scare protesters who now belong to a bygone era. When one new protester heard the expression, it drew an uncomprehending smile on his face. “Which embassy?”
We are not ashamed to admit that, for the time being, we are not totally independent financially. Without funds, it would be the end for us, for we are not willing to default on our employees’ salaries as is the case with most media companies in Lebanon.