GENEVA -The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties ( GCRL) strongly condemns the murder of Lebanese researcher and political activist Luqman Salim, hours after his disappearance in Lebanon which is the third political assassination in two months in the country.
Activist Salim was found dead, in his car, in Nabatieh, southern Lebanon on Thursday, 4/2/2021, one day after his disappearance. His body was found inside the car, and he was shot twice in the head, local media reported.
His sister Rasha Salim has announced news of losing contact with her brother, known for his strong opposition to Hezbollah, after leaving the house of one of his friends in the town of Srifa in Tyre district.
“My brother Luqman has not answered his phone since the evening,” Rasha Salim posted on Facebook. Salim’s phone was found in a field in the town of Srifa, which prompted his family and those close to him to suggest he was kidnapped there.
In a later comment, Rasha said: “We found the phone in Niha, the south, and we did not find neither the car nor Luqman … Where is Luqman?”.
Luqman Salim was frequently subjected to intimidation and was accused by Hezbollah supporters of being an agent. Threats were sent through flyers that were thrown into his garden and slogans written on the wall of his family’s home.
The Geneva Council strongly condemns this crime and requests a serious investigation to clear up its circumstances. The preliminary data indicate that it is a political assassination, and it is the third crime of its kind in about two months in Lebanon.
On December 21, 2020, the Lebanese photographer “Joseph Bejjani” was assassinated
by two unidentified men outside his home in the town of Kahaleh in Aley District.
This assassination was not the first of its kind recently. At the beginning of December, retired colonel Mounir Abu Rajeli, was found dead inside a house in Jbeil west of Lebanon, after he was severely beaten and hit on the head with a sharp instrument, weeks after he was summoned for interrogation over the Beirut explosion.
GCRL warns of a return of violence, assassinations, and liquidations because of journalistic work and the practice of freedom of expression, hence the authorities and all Lebanese parties are urged to take serious action to uncover these crimes, prosecute the perpetrators, and hold them accountable to prevent impunity.
Geneva Council recalls that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulated in Article (6) that “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.