Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

A string of court cases and judicial investigations against Lebanese media figures is testing this country's reputation as a forum for ideas in a region blanketed by censorship and threats to the press.

Lebanese authorities are getting tough on free speech ahead of national elections, summoning two leading talk show hosts to court over on-air remarks and sentencing an analyst to jail for comments she made in Washington about the Lebanese army.

A raft of taboos enshrined by law is shielding the country's military, political leaders, and religious institutions from criticism.