Two years after the murder of Lebanese intellectual and Hezbollah critic Lokman Slim, no indictment was issued by the Lebanese judiciary in a country, where impunity has become part of the public scene, as stated by Slim’s sister, Publisher Rasha Al-Amir.
Lokman Slim was found dead in his car on February 4, 2021, a day after his family reported him missing. His body was found in southern Lebanon — a stronghold of Hezbollah. He was an outspoken activist and a researcher passionate about documenting the civil war that raged from 1975-1990 in Lebanon.
While the Lebanese authorities completed their investigation into the case, the judiciary “did not issue a scrap of paper,” according to judicial sources who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity.
This Friday, Slim’s family, friends, and institutions commemorate the second anniversary of his assassination, in a series of ceremonies that extend over three days, accompanied by national and cultural activities inspired by this occasion.
Members of his family, diplomats and friends will speak on the first day at an event in his home in the southern suburbs of Beirut, during which four awards bearing his name will be distributed. The ceremony will be followed by a visit to Lokman’s institutions.
His sister, Rasha Al-Amir, spoke sadly about the situation of Lebanon’s judicial institution, but insisted that justice would return.
She told Asharq Al-Awsat that over the past months, despite the judicial strikes, “Judge Charbel Abu Samra, who was assigned the file, used to come to his office, and we would see him on a monthly basis.”
The judge is “brave” and “spared no effort in the case,” she said, adding that the judiciary in Lebanon was “restricted by dozens of red lines.”
Al-Amir pointed to the numerous political assassinations that shook Lebanon during the past decades and noted that indictments were issued in only three of them, referring to the assassination of Kamel Mroueh in the 1960s, President Bashir Gemayel in the 1980s, and Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
However, the perpetrators remained free due to the “red lines”, she said.
The investigations carried out by the Information Division of the Internal Security Forces and the Army Intelligence Directorate have ended, without any outcome revealed.
The Dar Al-Jadeed Foundation, in cooperation with French-language newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour, issued a booklet on the second anniversary of Slim’s assassination, recounting the circumstances of the crime.
While the accounts will be published in Arabic, French and English, no legal indictment has been issued in the case, “because the judiciary does not want to see the killers, and I do not think that it will ask them so as not to endanger itself,” said Rasha al-Amir.
“The game has become very exposed. In form, there is a judiciary and parliament, but in terms of content, there is nothing of that,” she stated.