Lebanese star Elissa sparks anger over her desire to watch ‘The Post’

Lebanese singing sensation Elissa
Updated 23 January 2018
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Lebanese star Elissa sparks anger over her desire to watch ‘The Post’

DUBAI: Lebanese singing sensation Elissa has sparked anger in Lebanon after she tweeted about her desire to watch new Hollywood flick “The Post,” which has caused controversy in the country due to director Stephen Spielberg’s links to Israel.

Activists had campaigned against the film because Spielberg gave financial support to Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah in south Lebanon, a conflict that killed hundreds of Lebanese.

However, the issue was put to rest last week when Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk ruled against a request to ban the film.

“I see no obstacle preventing the film from being shown because it has nothing to do with Lebanon or the conflict with the Israeli enemy,” Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk told Reuters at the time. In 2017, Lebanon banned two films but permitted 317 commercial and 766 festival films to screen, George Hanna, head of the publications department in the ministry’s General Security branch, added in a statement to Reuters.
Pop star Elissa waded into the furor when she enthusiastically tweeted about the film this week, saying: “I've been waiting impatiently to go to the cinema. I've heard a lot about the great director Steven Spielberg's film The Post. I'm looking forward to watching it! The chaos that some have made because of this work made me more anxious to watch and enjoy it.”
Some Lebanese Twitter users reacted in anger and described the star as an "agent and an ally of Israel.” One Twitter user even said her “words are as ridiculous as her songs.”
The film dramatizes the 1971 battle by American newspapers to publish leaked documents, known as the Pentagon Papers, concerning the US government’s role in the Vietnam War.


El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.