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Two lawyers face disciplinary measures for publishing article

(Maharat/IFEX) - 22 September 2011 - On 13 and 20 September 2011, lawyer Carlos Daoud appeared before the commissioner of the lawyers' syndicate in Beirut for investigation upon the referral by the head of the syndicate, lawyer Amal Haddad. This followed the publication of an article that Daoud had written on 27 July titled "Where is the lawyer who lobbies for social cases?", which was published in "The Legal Agenda" magazine. Nizar Saghieh, a lawyer who was abroad, was also called in for investigation.

Saghieh, who is being held responsible for the article's publication, told Maharat that there will be another hearing on 11 October, and that the prosecution is still in process, which could lead to the lawyers' referral to the disciplinary board.

Daoud's article criticizes a project under discussion by the syndicate's board aimed at regulating the relationship between lawyers and the media. Daoud argues the project would restrict lawyers' freedom of expression, including their participation in conferences and interviews.

Saghieh says the project is authoritarian because it prevents lawyers from discussing judicial cases with the media and trying to shape public opinion as part of their legal defense strategy, especially in cases related to human rights.

Previously, three international organizations, OMCT, REMDH and FIDH, addressed Haddad, asking her to end the disciplinary measures against Daoud and Saghieh, as well as to drop the project because it is not in line with lawyers' syndicate regulations in other democratic countries.

Maharat supports the message of these organizations and also asks the lawyers' syndicate in Beirut to accept criticism regarding the project because it restricts freedom of opinion and expression.

Maharat urges the head of the lawyers' syndicate to stop the investigation against lawyers Daoud and Saghieh and protect freedom of expression.

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