Hundreds of Lebanese Forces supporters gathered yesterday in front of LBC television in protest of the decision to cancel an interview with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
A group of protesters moved to LBC General Director Pierre al-Daher’s residence, shouting pro-Geagea slogans.
LBC television decided to call off Geagea’s interview on the Kalam al-Nass political talk show after the latter filed a lawsuit against the television station and Daher.
Geagea’s lawsuit was filed early this week, but it only went public yesterday.
The lawsuit is against LBC television and LBC International (LBCI). Daher had sold his share at LBCI to Saudi Prince Al-Walid ben Talal.
The Lebanese daily Al-Liwaa said that army troops were dispatched to LBC to prevent clashes, according to LBC officials’ demand.
Lebanese Forces officials urged the party’s supporters to avoid any confrontations with LBC staff and security agents and the Lebanese army.
Al-Akhbar daily accused the Lebanese Forces of planning to invade LBC.
“In spite of warning Geagea against potential clashes between his supporters and the Lebanese army, he insisted on carrying out the demonstrations. He only changed his mind after he got a phone call from MP Saad Hariri urging him to stop the rally, for it ruins March 14’s image,” said the daily.
The Lebanese daily An-Nahar quoted Daher as saying that the decision to cancel the interview was not the station’s reply to the lawsuit filed by Geagea.
“It was not a reply to the lawsuit. There is another reason which I prefer not reveal at the present moment,” Daher said.
He also confirmed that the problems between Geagea and LBC will definitely be submitted to legal authorities.
Commenting on the possibility of reaching a settlement outside court, Daher said that the question should be directed to Geagea.
Yet, he assured that LBC will keep covering Lebanese Forces activities. “It is ridiculous to think that we will abstain from doing so just because of this lawsuit,” said Daher.
“Marcel Ghanem is not responsible for the decision to cancel the interview,” affirmed Daher.
The Lebanese Forces media department issued a press communiqué saying that the party was surprised with Daher’s decision to call off Geagea’s interview because of the lawsuit aimed at rectifying LBC’s legal status.
It also denounced Daher’s decision, claiming it violated freedom of expression. The communiqué also criticized his unprofessional attitude in managing the television.
“His behavior is a violation of the authorities given to the general director post,” the communiqué added.
On his part, Daher said he would not go into war talks with the Lebanese Forces. He also denounced their hinting at his professional qualifications.