I am publishing this post in support to the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar .
A Lebanese newspaper's website (www.al-akhbar.com)has been shut down following a hacker attack, apparently over its publishing of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, an editor with the daily said Thursday.
Omar Nashabe said he doesn't want to speculate who is behind what he called the most serious attack on the Al-Akhbar newspaper since it was established in 2006.
Al-akhbar website is the most read newspaper site in Lebanon. It’s the first Arabic newspaper to distribute its content under creative commons license. Since its founding in 2006 by prominent journalist Joseph Samaha, the paper has distinguished itself for its investigative journalism, original commentary and for it willingness and ability to criticize governments in the region. Lebanon’s relatively free press environment and the newspaper’s lack of binding affiliations have allowed Al-akhbar to report freely and critically on all affairs of the day. In its first issue, published on August 14th, 2006, marking the ending of the Israeli-led war against Lebanon, Samaha wrote: Al-akhbar is lunching at the right-timing, in a time of many “miscalculations.” … We belong, politically, to the camp that rejects hegemony, which extends from the heart of the US to the far corners of the East, To Africa, Latin America and Europe, and we also announce that we belong, professionally, to the camp that believes in pluralism, democracy, objectivity, modernity, and creative culture”.
Al-Akhbar defines its political orientation to be affiliated to the general popular political stream working for independence, freedom, anti-war, anti-occupation and social justice in Lebanon and around the world. The paper is not partisan or committed to any particular political group.
WikiLeaks gave the paper an advance copy of secret U.S. diplomatic documents, and Al-Akhbar has been publishing the cables since last week.
On December 1st, Al-akhbar began to publish hundreds of the leaked document exclusively received by the newspaper in the context of Wikileaks Cablegate. Al-akhbar has not revealed the source of these cables.
On Thursday, the paper published a document about corruption in the North African Arab nation of Tunisia. The U.S. memo focused on alleged corruption inside President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's family.
Last week, Al-Akhbar printed another diplomatic cable saying that Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr offered U.S. officials advice on how Israel could defeat Hezbollah in a future war. The memo also said Murr vowed to keep the Lebanese army out of the fighting.
Murr's office denied he had made the comments, and said the report was "out of context and inaccurate." Lebanon's daily An-Nahar quoted Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, as telling a group of Arab journalists during a telephone conference that the diplomatic cables may by used to instigate strife in Lebanon.
Feltman warned that some Lebanese might be harmed for cooperating with the United States, according to the paper whose correspondent in Washington took part in the telephone conference.
Nashabe, the editor, said the paper is trying to reactivate the website and plans to investigate the attack.
He says the website has been inaccessible since about 4 a.m. the alternative temporary address of the website in PDF format is: http://akhbarbeirut.wordpress.
We call all our friends and supporters of the freedoms around the word to spread the word about this arbitrary violation.