Lucien Bourjeili won the battle… The General Security finally released his Passport

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The Lebanese General Security has released the passport of the playwright Lucien Bourjeily after refusing to renew it. Lucien was planning to represent Lebanon with a new piece next month in London under the LIFT festival. Here is his full statement on Facebook: 

VICTORY!! The general security has just released my Passport!!!
Although, they made me miss my UK Visa appointment by confiscating it but there’s still hope (with the help of the British Council and The LIFT Festival ) that I can make it to London International Theater festival on the 22nd of June and perform the play “Vanishing State”, and that they refused to even give me back the 105,000 L.B.P. they made me originally pay for what was supposed to be the “fast service” option.

We will not be forced into submission… justice and human rights will prevail if we fight passionately for them as it was the case in the arbitrary detention of my passport and freedom of movement and speech…

This is YOUR victory… over submission… over tyranny and oppression and silencing free speech activism…

IT IS INDEED THIS HUGE PUBLIC OPINION PRESSURE THAT MADE THEM GO BACK ON THEIR DECISION 48 HOURS LATER…

THANK YOU for all of you my friends, family, colleagues, fellow citizens, associations (MARCHHuman Rights WatchSK_Eyes , Index on Censorship, Maharat foundation, Legal Agenda) and activists and journalists and lawyers who shared and posted and wrote and blogged and called and…. Each and every media outlet that covered, each and every journalist who wrote and condemned…
WE FINALLY WON ONE BATTLE… BUT THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER ..Giving me back my passport in not enough, we should keep on lobbying and raising our voices for anyone in the future who will be detained in Lebanon based on his thoughts and his writing, including foreigners.. and most importantly keep on fighting for such violations not to happen again, and March and myself are working actively with NGOs and government officials to get to a permanent solution.

I would particularly like to thank the part played by Ministor of Interior Mr. Nouhad Machnouk for meeting me and calling the director of the general security and requesting and demanding the immediate release of my passport from arbitrary and unfair detention along with Dr. Khalil Gebara who coordinated between us and the ministry and the anti-censorship MARCH ngo presided by Lea Baroudy.

The Minister promised that during his term in office that no one will again be prosecuted the way I was by general security and the Ministry is looking into the matter to solve this issue permanently…They promised to update us soon, lets wait and see.. and let’s hope that this will be the start of some real positive change in Lebanon.

Lots of love and gratefulness to you ALL.

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