Libano, Il racconto di una delle giornaliste sequestrate da Hezbollah

I media libanesi riferiscono stamani che due giornaliste, una libanese e una rumena ed entrambe basate a Beirut, sono state sequestrate per alcune ore e poi rilasciate da membri di Hezbollah nella valle orientale della Beqaa dove si erano recate per indagare sulle sorti di un miliziano del movimento sciita filo-iraniano secondo alcune fonti ucciso in scontri armati in Siria.

Ana-Maria Luca (foto a sinistra) e Naziha Baassiri, del portale online NowLebanon, vicino all’opposizione parlamentare rivale di Hezbollah, hanno raccontato di esser state intercettate da alcuni uomini in abiti civili all’ingresso di Nabi Shit, località nell’estrema parte orientale della Bekaa al confine con la Siria dove martedì scorso si erano svolti i funerali del capo militare di Hezbollah.

Dopo esser state condotte in una casa isolata sulle colline, le due donne affermano di esser state trattate in modo aggressivo e di esser state interrogate a lungo da altri membri del movimento sciita, che hanno fotocopiato i loro documenti di identità, preso i numeri di telefoni cellulari e confiscato i taccuini di appunti. Le due non erano in possesso di macchine fotografiche.

Prima di esser rilasciate, prosegue il racconto delle due giornaliste, è stato loro intimato di non tornare più a Nabi Shit.

Ecco la testimonianza diretta di Ana-Maria Luca sul blog di NowLebanon:

I was in the Baalbeck area with my colleague Naziha Baassiri for a story yesterday when our co-workers told us about an explosion in the village of Nabi Sheet. As any journalist would do, we rushed to the scene.

At the entrance of Nabi Sheet, a few kilometers away from the explosion site, two young men dressed as civilians whistled at our taxi and signaled to the driver to pull over.

After pulling over we explained to the man that we were journalists and we came to examine the explosion. But instead of directing us to the location, the young man got angry, pulled his walkie-talkie from his back pocket and told the base he had a serious problem: a Romanian and “another one from Saida.”

He opened the door, dragged the driver out and took the car keys from the car. He pushed the driver of our taxi towards his companion, they searched him and interrogated him about the purpose of our trip. The driver, a man in his fifties who was born in the region, explained to them calmly that he was driving two journalists, that we had been in the village of Bodai for a report when we heard about the explosion. But something must have made the young man very angry because he got in the driver’s seat and drove off with the car’s wheels crunching gravel.

“Who are you and where are you taking us? What’s your name and why aren’t you wearing a uniform?” we kept asking. But the man did not identify himself. We tried calling our newsroom to tell them we were in trouble, but the man shouted at us to switch off our phones.

He repeated to his companions on the walkie-talkie that he is bringing in the “suspicious Romanian woman and the one from Saida.” He drove uphill for around ten minutes, until we reached a house that I assume was the local Hezbollah office. The men surrounded our taxi, opened my door and asked me to come out. I refused but let them see my notebook and papers.

The man who searched my bag and appeared to be the leader of the group asked why we were there. Naziha explained again that we were journalists and we came to do a report about the explosion. “It was mazout [Diesel fuel],” he said. “Now leave.”

When we got to Beirut we found out from a Hezbollah official statement that it was not mazout. Three Hezbollah fighters had been killed and several other people wounded in a blast at a depot for what was said to be old ammunition; remnants of the Israeli attacks on the area. Nabi Sheet is known to host a Hezbollah military base where the party is training its fighters and the location is known to have been bombed by Israeli forces in the 2006 war.