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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

R.I.P. Gibran Tueni

Gibran Tueni was the editor of An-Nahar and had been elected as an opposition MP in Lebanon. He was an outspoken opponent of Syria's machinations, and was also known to criticize Hezbollah's violence.

Gibran Tueni was not the first journalist for An-Nahar to meet his death for what he had written; he surely knew the risk he was running. Yet he continued to write. After Samir Kassir's death in June of 2005:
Gibran Tueni, An-Nahar's general manager, linked the killing to the 14 February bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri and 20 other people and to another explosion targeting an opposition lawmaker who escaped with serious injuries.

"The Lebanese security authorities and the remnants of the Syrian system in Lebanon, and directly the Syrian regime from top to bottom, is responsible for every crime and every drop of blood spilled," Tueni said at the scene.
Newsday/AP published a selection of Tueni quotes:
"The Syrian security regime should know ... that despotic regimes and tyrants who committed massacres against humanity were pursued, prosecuted and collapsed." Dec. 8, 2005, editorial in An-Nahar.
This was a very, very brave man, and I think he wrote his own epitaph. May it also be the epitaph of tyranny in the ME.

Tueni is only the latest in a long line of Lebanese that have paid the price for criticizing the Syrians.

By virtually every account, he won't be the last, unless there are changes in Syria- regime changes, to be more specific.
It seems to be speeding up, not slowing down. No, he's not the first.

But that is part of why I think he was so courageous.
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