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Activist Murder Means Lebanon Reached Serious Level Of Assassinations Intimidation

Geneva – The Euro-Mediterranean Human
Rights Monitor strongly condemns Lebanese the assassination
of researcher and political activist Luqman Salim at dawn
today, in Al-Zahrani region, southern
Communication with Salim, director of the UMAM
Documentation and Research Center, was lost at 10 p.m. on
Wednesday, after visiting friends in Niha town, southern
Salim’s phone was found in an agricultural field
in Srifa town. Later, his dead body was found in a rented
car in the Al-Zahrani town at dawn today with four gunshot
wounds. The dead body was transferred to a government
hospital in Sidon, near the crime scene.
Rasha Al-Amir,
Salim’s sister, told Euro-Med Monitor: “My last contact with
Salim was yesterday morning when he told us he is going to
visit friends in the south. At 10 p.m., we tried to call him
more than once, but he did not answer. We contacted the
friends he was visiting, but they told us that he had left a
short while ago and he is on his way to us. His wife and I
waited for him for an hour, but he did not come, so we were
concerned, especially since the distance between his
friends’ place and our house is close”.
“I made many
calls and wanted to report the loss of Salim to the police,
but we were prevented from that as he hadn’t been missing
for more than 24 hours. We received the news of his death at
dawn today, Thursday.”
Salim had previously received
several threats to his life, most notably, when an unknown
group attacked his home in Haret Hreik (in the southern
suburb of Beirut) in December 2019 and affixed leaflets on
his house door containing serious threats.
Monitor’s legal advisor, Tariq Hajjar, said that “this crime
should not pass without accountability like its
predecessors. The series of assassinations, targeting
activists, impunity and extrajudicial killings must stop,
especially with the recurrence of similar crimes and the
fact that investigations’ results are not revealed yet, such
as the killing of the photographer, Joseph Bejjani, and the
retired customs colonel Mounir Abou Rjeily”.
Lebanese authorities are responsible for protecting all
activists and workers in public affairs by adhering to the
human rights international covenants enshrined in the
Lebanese constitution, especially the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, which stipulates in Article 3: ‘Everyone
has the right to life, liberty and security of person’ as
well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, which stipulated in Article 6: ‘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'”.
The Lebanese authorities, especially the
judiciary, should:

  • give the assassination of
    activist Luqman Salim along with all the previous similar
    assassinations the utmost attention for the dangerous
    implications they bear;
  • take appropriate measures,
    most importantly opening an immediate, independent and
    transparent investigation into the crime;
  • and reveal
    the perpetrators and bring them to justice to prevent the
    repetition of such crimes and put an end to

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