Lebanon Arrests U.S. Citizen, Falsely Claiming He Reported for Haaretz

Official statement says journalist brought in for questioning for 'live-streaming events in Beirut'

Protests in Beirut on Jan. 19, 2020.
AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

The Lebanese government announced on Monday that it had "arrested a U.S. citizen residing in Lebanon for live-streaming the recent events in Beirut for Haaretz," calling the publication "an Israeli enemy newspaper."

According to the statement, "following social media news about a person who had been live-streaming the events in Downtown Beirut for the Israeli Haaretz daily, a State Security patrol managed to track and locate the whereabouts, and suspected an individual who had filmed the same footage that appeared on the enemy's newspapers' page."

The official Lebanese statement identified the man as Nicholas A., "a U.S. citizen residing in Beirut; he claimed to be a freelance journalist," adding he was brought in for questioning.

Haaretz clarifies that no journalist was reporting for the newspaper on the protests from Beirut, and it has no connection to the U.S. citizen being held.

The live video feed on Haaretz's Facebook account was an official Reuters video feed. Haaretz did not receive that video directly from anyone other than Reuters.