The sister of prominent Lebanese publisher and critic of the Shia Hezbollah group Lokman Slim said Lebanon’s history of assassinations was repeating itself, days after her brother as found shot dead in his car on Thursday.
“My father was also the lawyer of journalist Kamel Mroueh who was assassinated. They assassinated him in his office… History is repeated in this country,” Rasha al-Ameer told Al Arabiya during an interview.
Slim’s mother said she refused to leave the southern suburbs of Beirut, because her house is 150 years old and is older than Hezbollah.
“I have lived here for 60 years… This house is 150 years old… I will stay in this house because this house is older than Hezbollah… I will not leave,” Salma Merchak added.
Al-Ameer had previously hinted that Hezbollah was behind the killing, without naming the group, adding that it is known who controls the area where her brother was found dead.
“Killing for them is a habit,” she said. Hezbollah and its allies dominate the area in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah condemned Slim's killing, calling for a swift investigation. It also urged security agencies to combat crimes it said have spread around Lebanon and which have been “exploited politically and by the media at the expense of security and domestic stability” — a jab at their critics.
Watch: Prominent Lebanese activist and Hezbollah critic #LokmanSlim’s mother tells Al Arabiya that the instigators and the perpetrators are equally responsible for the killing of her son. https://t.co/prS8VRdk3O pic.twitter.com/HZV5UvyzWo— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 5, 2021
Slim was born in Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, where he lived all his life. He returned from abroad, when most people were leaving, during the 2006 war with Israel, as the suburbs were being bombed.
He founded Umam, a research and film production house with a library documenting Lebanon's and Shia history. His family owns a publishing house and Slim hosted public debates and political forums and art shows, including exhibitions documenting the civil war's missing. He and his wife worked on a film documenting the atrocities of Syria's notorious Tadmor prison.
In 2009, he and his wife organized a private viewing at their center for an Oscar-nominated anti-war Israeli cartoon about Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the rise of the then-President Bachir Gemayel, in defiance of Hezbollah and Lebanese authorities, who have banned it.
Slim also set up Haya Bina, or “Let's go,” a group that encouraged participation in 2005 parliamentary elections, called for changes to Lebanon's sectarian-based system, and taught women English.
With The Associated Press