In the video above, Lebanon’s finance minister, Mohammad Safadi claims he called the Customs Office three times and pleaded that they not take action against the journalists who were eventually severely beaten by customs agents.

“They refused,” he exclaims, adding that he basically has no control over their actions. “Leave them, I said. It is my responsibility. They refused.”

This is interesting since, in its reporting, Al Jadeed has portrayed the Customs Department as falling under the jurisdiction of the finance ministry.

Does Minister Safadi’s comment suggest that Lebanese Customs operates independently of any oversight?

And does anyone regulate the armed customs agents? If not, who will examine the behavior of these armed and evidentdly dangerous men?

Whoever is in charge–if anyone–may want to take a look at the laws governing customs agents as provided on their website.

I don’t see anything here about beating up journalists on the street.

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