02/05/2021, 12.56
LEBANON
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Lebanese intellectual Lokman Slim assassinated, he was a critic of Hezbollah

His body was found yesterday morning with four bullets to the head and one to the body. The condolences of political and institutional leaders. Fears of a new escalation of political violence. Mona Fayad: This murder "is a message and a lesson", but "we will not remain silent".

Beirut (AsiaNews) - A murder that took place "in the South, a fiefdom of Hezbollah" and "it was certainly not the first threat. This is a murder that the perpetrators will certainly not try to hide. They want to tell us: be careful, we are here! And that's just the beginning ".

This is what the Lebanese intellectual and writer Mona Fayad, one of the most prominent personalities of the Shiite cultural resistance to the "Party of God" says, commenting on the killing of Lokman Slim, whose bullet riddled body was found yesterday morning after he disappeared the previous evening.

Speaking to L ’Orient-Le Jour (LOJ), the woman gives vent to her anger at a death that she defines at the same time as "warning and lesson".

Lokman Slim, 58, was one of the most authoritative voices on the anti-Hezbollah front in Lebanon. His body was found yesterday morning in Touffahta, in the south of the country, in a car, with five gunshots, four of which exploded in the head and one that reached the back. The bullets were fired at close range, in the context of an actual execution.

Activists and experts fear that his execution could trigger an escalation in political violence, in a nation already gripped by economic problems and with a health system in collapse due to the new coronavirus pandemic. The victim was a fierce critic of the Lebanese radical movement led by Hassan Nasrallah and an ally of Iran and Syria in the Middle East chessboard, one of the main souls of the civil war. However, there were also those who criticized him, accusing him of fueling sedition and undermining national unity.

Already the subject of repeated threats in the past, Lokman Slim never wanted to leave his family home and the area where he grew up, considered a fief of the "Party of God". And it is precisely in an annex of his home, known as "the Hangar", where he used to organize meetings, films, debates on political reality in the presence of political, intellectual and diplomatic personalities of all kinds.

There had been no news of him since the evening of February 3, when he left a friend's house in the village of Niha shortly after 8.30 pm. The family had lost all contact and the night searches proved useless, until the tragic epilogue yesterday morning with the body found inside a Toyota Corolla and without identity documents.

His sister Rasha al-Ameer, who had founded the Dar al-Jadeed publishing house with the victim, calls for justice and has already announced a private investigation and an autopsy at a trusted facility, because she does not believe in Lebanese justice and in its inquiries that “They always end up in an impasse when it comes to political killings. We know - she added - who the killers are "but the target is not so much the material perpetrators, but the principals who wanted it.

The President of the Republic Michel Aoun turned to the Attorney General of the Cassation, asking them to make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice, without explicitly condemning the killing of the activist. Outgoing premier Hassane Diab speaks of a "hateful crime", while the one in charge Saad Hariri compares it to a "new martyr on the path of freedom and democracy" in the land of cedars. “We will not be intimidated,” concludes Mona Fayad, and “we will not remain silent. This assassination is a warning to those who still believe that it is possible to bring Hezbollah back into the ranks” of dialogue and political confrontation.

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