Lebanon’s Hezbollah has recently resorted to the judiciary, filing a slander lawsuit against Lebanese talk show host Dima Sadek.
This kept us busy during the past week in Lebanon, considering the contradictions surrounding the incident. On the political front, this is the first time Hezbollah, who frequently displays little interest in rights and freedoms, resorts to the judiciary or the state which it has long behaved as being above and unconcerned about.
We in Lebanon have lost almost everything; there's no solid state, no solid economy and no security. All we have left are voices that many are attempting to silence.Diana Moukalled
So what was upsetting here? The questions Sadek asked? Sadek's identity? Or is it the slogan "All of You Means All of You" and the act of daring to turn Hezbollah's supports against it during these civil movement protests?
Hezbollah did not resort to the judiciary because it seeks to achieve the justice that it doesn't provide for its rivals. It has repeatedly issued rulings and executed them regardless of the state and its judiciary. However in the case of Dima Sadek, the party's way of executing its “verdict” is actually through the uproar caused by the lawsuit itself. This is of course accompanied with the attempts, which are almost organized, to destroy Sadek's character, credibility and image. Once again, hashtags, comments and news surfaced on social media networks in an attempt to isolate Sadek and media personalities like her.
Despite acknowledging that the lawsuit is weak on a legal front, people affiliated with Hezbollah and supporters of the group did not hesitate to launch campaigns aiming to defame and socially destroy Sadek by addressing her appearance and identity. Of course these cowardly acts, which also include spreading lies, know no limits.
When considering this incident (while there is no case here), I believe it is an attempt to eliminate, socially dominate and control others.
At this point, defamation and lying are the campaign and its purpose, and this is a verdict that's harsher than anything the judiciary can rule on. Many know that Hezbollah will not win the lawsuit due to the weak legal basis of the case but what is happening here is an attempt to discipline and intimidate Sadek, who seems to be alone in this confrontation as she does not belong to a political or a sectarian party.