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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Journalist Dima Sadek denounces threats made against her in response to her social media commentary on Rushdie attack

Monday , 15 August 2022

The journalist Dima Sadek is again the subject of a violent campaign launched against her on social networks, following her publication Saturday of a photo of the late Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini with the caption "The Satanic Verses."

Sadek posted the image in reaction to the attack on British writer Salman Rushdie on Friday in New York state in the US. Rushdie, who remains hospitalized after being repeatedly stabbed during a public appearance, has been threatened with death since an Iranian "fatwa" was issued against him in 1989, a year after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses.

“I am the subject of a public incitement to murder campaign launched by Jawad Nasrallah,” the son of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, Sadek wrote Saturday on her Twitter account. She asked that her tweet be considered as a “notification” of the campaign addressed to the Lebanese authorities. She accompanied her message with a screenshot of a tweet from another internet user saying that “spilling Dima Sadek's blood is a moral obligation.”

‘Tools’ of some regimes

In an earlier tweet, Nasrallah's son had indicated that “regimes use certain tools to do their dirty work, but without dirtying themselves, and an example of these tools is this poison that has overtaken them in its decadence,” with the hashtag “Dima.”

The SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom denounced in a tweet this campaign of “incitement and threat of murder and rape.”

Sadek, herself of Shiite faith, is known for her opposition to Hezbollah. She has been repeatedly subjected to a cyber-harassment campaign by supporters of the pro-Iranian party and the Amal Movement. In November 2019, she denounced an “incitement to murder” following comments made by a Shiite dignitary, who spoke of her “crucifixion” and “amputation under Sharia law.”

Jawad Nasrallah is known for his outbursts against opponents of Hezbollah. He notably attracted attention for having saluted, in February 2021, the assassination of the intellectual Lokman Slim, who was shot dead in South Lebanon, in a tweet published shortly after the supposed time of the murder. The tweet was later deleted.

In addition, SKeyes reported Sunday that photographer Hassan Shabaan was again threatened in Beit Yahoun, his village in the Nabatieh region of South Lebanon. In early August, Shabaan said a group of individuals, believed to be supporters of Hezbollah, attacked him because of videos and posts on social networks about local residents protesting against water shortages in the area. On Saturday night, an unknown person hung a message on the flat tire of the photographer's car that read: “Leave the village, agent, dog.”

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