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Democratization & Public Accountabillity

Whistleblower Protection law for Lebanon

Lebanon still suffers from the absence of a whistleblower protection law, as evidenced by two recent occasions, where journalists were attacked and fined while trying to cover corruption cases against public officials. Less than a year ago, an Al Jadeed TV crew were beaten by customs officials while seeking comments from the customs acting director, for an episode of their program about alleged corruption at the Beirut airport. In early 2014, Al Akhbar newspaper journalist Mohamed Nazzal was fined for what was described as a media campaign against the judiciary, after publishing an investigative story accusing judges and security officers of corruption and protecting gangs.

These cases show the urgency and importance of passing a law to protect whistleblowers in Lebanon, in order to effectively fight corruption.

The Whistleblower Protection draft law was submitted to the Lebanese parliament in 2010, and after review by the parliamentary subcommittee established in late 2013 by MP Ghassan Moukheiber, the draft law has been approved by the Administration and Justice parliamentary committee in March 2015. It is now waiting to be submitted to the general assembly to be voted on.

If passed, the Whistleblower protection law will protect whistleblowers by securing confidentiality and guaranteeing their employment and personal safety. It will also include specific mechanisms for compensation and assistance for whistleblowers.

LALAC has launched a petition on Facebook to call for passage of the Whistleblower Protection draft law, following a media campaign aimed at raising awareness of the draft law. The media campaign included ads on billboards, magazines, newspapers and on TV.

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