Lebanese judge resigns after media ban on US ambassador

Beirut, Jun 28 (efe’epa).- A Lebanese judge resigned on Sunday a day after issuing an international media ban on United States ambassador Dorothy Shea over critical comments she made of the Hezbollah Shiite group.

The decision taken by Mohamed Mazeh, a judge of the southern city of Tyre, came after the US ambassador blamed the Shiite group for worsening the economic situation in the country.

“By its actions and threats, Hezbollah destabilizes the country and jeopardizes the country’s economic recovery,” she said during an interview with Al-Hadath.

She expressed “very serious reservations” over the independence of the government and that it is “not beholden to Hezbollah”.

The comments by the diplomat “threaten the social peace” and “incite the sectarian conflict,” the judge ruled.

Despite the judge’s decision, the ambassador was interviewed twice by Lebanese media.

During an interview with the LBCI TV channel on Sunday, she considered the decision to be “unhelpful and unnecessary”.

An “appropriate action is being taken (by the Lebanese government) to reverse this inappropriate ruling,” she added.

The judge on Sunday issued a statement, published by local media, saying that he was not notified that he was subject to any administrative proceedings.

“In the event that this happens to be true, and before referring me to the Inspection Authority because of a ruling I made with a clear conscience and in full conviction (…) I present my request to end my service in the Judiciary, which I will officially submit on Tuesday, June 30, 2020,” he said in a statement published by the MTV channel.

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