First Published: 2017-09-11

Lebanon director free after court hearing over Israel film
Highly acclaimed Doueiri freed after brief detention over shooting movie in Israel where Lebanese citizens are banned from visiting.
Middle East Online

54-year-old held after arriving in Lebanon to premiere his new film "The Insult"

BEIRUT - French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri walked free Monday and was given back his confiscated passports after a military court hearing over his filming of a movie in Israel.

The 54-year-old was briefly detained on Sunday night after arriving in Lebanon to premiere his new film "The Insult".

He was released but his passports were confiscated and he was ordered to appear before a military court over his 2013 movie "The Attack", which he filmed partly in Israel.

Lebanon, which is officially at war with Israel, bans its citizens from visiting the neighbouring country, with which it is locked in a decades-old conflict.

After a hearing of several hours at a Beirut military court, Doueiri walked free, brandishing his two passports.

"My client was released. No charges have been filed against him," Doueiri's lawyer Najib Lyan told reporters, adding that the case would be "definitively closed".

However, a judicial source said "it is possible that the issue will be referred to a military court, for the crime of entering an enemy country without prior authorisation".

Doueiri is in Lebanon to promote "The Insult", which opened to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival and earned Palestinian actor Kamel El Basha the Volpi Cup for best actor.

Lebanon has chosen the film as its official entry for the foreign film category at the Oscars.

But Doueiri has been criticised by some Lebanese journalists and activists for partly filming "The Attack" in Israel.

Adapted from the best-selling book by Yasmina Khadra, "The Attack" follows the story of an Israeli surgeon of Arab origin whose wife is the perpetrator of a suicide attack.

The film was banned in Lebanon.

"Three years have passed since the acts of which he is accused, since the filming took place in 2012," said Lyan.

He said that before filming Doueiri had requested permission "to film on the ground, to defend the Palestinian cause... without ever receiving a response from the defence ministry".

Doueiri said he had been released "because there was no criminal intent".

"The Insult" is due to premiere in Beirut on Tuesday.


Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers

Netanyahu confidant to testify against him

Iran emergency teams recover bodies from plane crash site

Ten dead in more Syrian regime strikes on East Ghouta

Bahrain activist sentenced to 5 years for Yemen tweets

Lebanese president makes landmark visit to Iraq

US declares readiness to talk Mideast peace

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Abbas calls for peace conference in rare UN speech

Egyptian court adds leading government critic on terror list

Yemen government offensive threatens heritage site

Turkey considering chemical castration for child abusers

45 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel enclave

Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis

New woes for Israeli PM in fresh graft cases

Maghreb countries wary about jihadists relocating from Iraq, Syria

Erdogan says Turkey will besiege Afrin "swiftly"