POLICY Statement

June 30, 2020: ATFL Statement of Support for Ambassador Dorothy Shea

June 30, 2020

Washington, DC, June 30, 2020 (ATFL) – The American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL), a not-for-profit organization of Americans of Lebanese heritage who work in support of a strong US-Lebanon relationship, expresses its strong dismay at the controversy surrounding the rejection by a judge in Tyre of the right of US Ambassador Dorothy Shea to mention the negative role that she perceives Hezbollah plays in Lebanon. On Saturday, Judge Mohammed Mazeh issued an order banning local and foreign media organizations from interviewing or hosting Ambassador Shea for a year.
One of the key hallmarks of Lebanese society has been openness to public expressions of positions on a range of issues. The judge’s ruling is not only a violation of this principle of free speech but is inappropriate in the context of diplomatic relations between countries.
The ATFL encourages the Lebanese government to forcefully reject this intrusion into US-Lebanon political affairs and restate its commitment to free speech and discourse by dismissing this threat against international and domestic media in Lebanon.

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