22 February 2018

Lahon W Bass

Lebanese comedian Hicham Haddad has been charged with defamation of a foreign leader after he joked about Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. On his television show Lahon W Bass, broadcast by LBCI on 2nd January, Haddad mocked the Crown Prince's human rights record. The editor of ad-Diyar newspaper (الديار) is facing a similar charge: defamation of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, following an article he wrote last November.

After being charged with defamation on 26th January, Haddad appeared on his show four days later wearing a prison uniform. This led to further charges of mocking the judiciary. Marcel Ghanem, the presenter of another show on the same channel, is also facing criminal charges. An episode of Ghanem's Kalam Ennas (كلام الناس) programme, broadcast on 16th November last year, featured a guest who criticised Lebanese President Michel Aoun, amongst other government figures.