LONDON: A group of Hezbollah loyalists attacked Lebanese photojournalist Hasan Shaaban on Wednesday after videos of protests he filmed in his hometown in the Shia-dominated south circulated on social media.
The assault took place shortly after his footage captured residents of the southern town of Beit Yahoun in Bint Jbeil district protesting water shortages in their homes.
While covering the protests, members affiliated with Hezbollah threatened to kill him if he did not leave town.
I was assaulted today by a Hezbollah affiliated group at 8:40 p.m. after videos of a protest in my hometown Beit Yahoun circulated on social media yesterday, I also received death threats during and after the beating if I stay in the city.#Not_leaving#Photojournalism
— Hasan Shaaban (@hasanshaaban) August 3, 2022
The next morning, Shaaban found a bullet stuck to his car window, a move he said reiterated Hezbollah’s threats against him.
He posted a photo of the bullet on his social media pages and held a Hezbollah member responsible for any harm done to him or his property.
So… I woke up today to find a bullet stuck to my car window. pic.twitter.com/ejEAThX8Ur
— Hasan Shaaban (@hasanshaaban) August 4, 2022
“I woke up this morning and found a bullet stuck to my car window,” Shaaban wrote in a Facebook post. “I hold the Hezbollah member with the initials ‘HNM’ and all people with him responsible for any harm that happens to me, my dog, my house, my car or my chickens.”
“(The Hezbollah member) assaulted me in front of 15 witnesses, even though he was not the one who placed the bullet on the car. . . the information has been given to law enforcement, let’s see if they will do something about it.
Meanwhile, the Alternative Press Syndicate held “de facto forces, especially Hezbollah” accountable for Shaaban’s security, and called on “the absent state to assume its responsibilities and hold the aggressors to account immediately.” “.
Ali Aloush, head of the Press Photographers’ Syndicate, added that the attack “will not go unpunished, and we will contact the judicial and security agencies (or what remains of them) to make sure whoever attacked him , regardless of which party belong, is held to account.
This is not the first time that members of Hezbollah have attacked Lebanese journalists or threatened to kill them.
In January, Hezbollah trolls launched a racist campaign against Sudanese-Lebanese journalist Dalia Ahmad following a report on her show that criticized the Lebanese government, including Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
In another case, former Alhurra news anchor Layal Alekhtiar received death threats and was harassed online after he tweeted a video of a Soleimani statue unveiling and a line from the Quran that read “What are these statues to which you are so devoted?
In October 2020, freelance journalist Luna Safwan was targeted by Hezbollah in a campaign of online abuse after her tweet criticizing the party was carried by an Israeli news channel and she was accused of cooperate with Israel.
Lebanese journalist Maryam Seif Eddine, known for her scathing criticism of Hezbollah despite being Shia, has received death threats from the group while her mother and brother were physically assaulted, with her brother having a broken nose .
Party loyalists targeted his family home in Burj El-Barajneh, in the Hezbollah-dominated southern suburb of Beirut.
Similarly, former LBC presenter and Shia journalist Dima Sadek was harassed by the group after her phone was stolen from her during a protest. The harassment, she said, was followed by insulting and threatening phone calls to her mother.