Al Jadeed reporter Layal Saad was denied entrance to the Presidential Palace’s press office last week because of a previous incident that took place months ago where Saad referred to the president as ‘Aoun’ and not ‘his excellency President Aoun’. Layal claims that she was verbally abused after that first incident and that she referred to the president as ‘Aoun’ off the air, while Baabda claims she offended the President of the Republic during a dialogue between and other journalists in the palace, and that the officer who overheard her did not misbehave.

The real problem though is that the Presidential Palace decided to deny entry to the journalist without resorting to judicial proceedings, which is wrong.

If the reporter broke the law, the case should be taken to court and only then she can be denied entry to Baabda. Until then, no citizen should be prohibited from entering any public facility including the Presidential Palace. A similar incident took place last year when MTV was banned from entering the palace, but Judge Carla Shawah rendered the presidency’s decision null and obliged the state to overturn it.