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#Trending: Lebanese authorities detain student over 'disliked' Facebook status

Bassel El Amin – in his early 20s - was detained on Tuesday [Facebook]

Date of publication: 9 December, 2016

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Lebanese student Bassel El Amin was detained on Tuesday over a status he posted on Facebook criticising the state of Lebanon, its president, and the symbols of the country.
Dozens of activists have voiced outrage after Lebanese authorities arrested a journalism student over a Facebook status he posted defending Syrian refugees and criticising the country.

Bassel El Amin - in his early 20s - was detained on Tuesday over a status he posted on Facebook criticising the state of Lebanon, its president and the symbols of the country.

Amin posted the status last month after a right-wing Lebanese TV channel aired a candid camera show humiliating a young Syrian man seeking a job.

Outraged by the show, Amin wrote on Facebook: "A Syrian refugee or a Syrian migrant worker or simply a Syrian citizen is worth more than your republic, your cedars, your Lebanon, its independence, government, history, revolution and presidents. Is that clear?"

The post was subsequently deleted.

But activists took to social media to protest for the right to freedom of expression and demand Amin's immediate release.

Lebanese activist took to social media, covering their mouths in tapes and holding a sign that reads: #Facebook_status_is_not_a_crime – a hashtag that gained traction on Twitter.

[Translation: I do not agree with what Bassel al-Amin wrote. Of course, there is a way to respond to him through Facebook, a discussion, an argument or even by simply blocking him. I could have responded to him in the same manner he attacked Lebanon. This is a legal right. But to place him in prison over his personal view is a crime! Bassel expressed his political opinion and he was imprisoned! We will accept punishing political opinion by detention! A political view should only be met with one thing: another political view.]

[Translation: #Facebook_status_is_not_a_crime #the_dignity_of_my_country_is_bigger_than_a_status  #freedom_for_bassel_amin]

[Translation: Regardless whether Bassel is wrong in the way he expressed his view, a #Facebook_status_is_not_a_crime and that is certain #freedom_for_bassel_amin]

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