Reporters Without Borders

Tribute to press freedom martyr on third anniversary of murder

Tribute to press freedom martyr on third anniversary of murder

Published on Friday 12 December 2008. Updated on Monday 18 May 2009.
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Reporters Without Borders appeals to the United Nations to help bring Gebran Tueni’s murderers to justice. A parliamentarian and publisher of one of the Middle-East’s leading Arabic-language dailies, Tueni was killed in a targeted car-bombing in the Beirut suburb of Mkalles three years ago today.

Reporters Without Borders appeals to the United Nations to help bring Gebran Tueni’s murderers to justice. A parliamentarian and publisher of one of the Middle East’s leading Arabic-language dailies, Tueni was killed in a targeted car-bombing in the Beirut suburb of Mkalles three years ago today.

“We join the Tueni family and all of An-Nahar’s staff in voicing our deep grief and in paying tribute to this leading journalist’s memory,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Like his colleague Samir Kassir, who was murdered in May 2005, Tueni confronted the serious threats to which he was exposed in Lebanon and paid for his commitment with his life.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Three years later, his killers are still at large and Reporters Without Borders appeals to the United Nations to take drastic measures to expose the identity of those who murdered him.”

Lebanon was shaken by a series of high-profile political killings in 2005 beginning with former prime minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination on 14 February. An-Nahar editorialist and intellectual Samir Kassir was killed outside his home in the Beirut district of Ashrafieh on 2 June by plastic explosives placed underneath his car.

Tueni, An-Nahar’s CEO and parliamentary representative for Beirut, was killed on 12 December while being driven in convoy to the newspaper’s offices in the city centre. A car-bomb left at the side of the Mkalles road was set off as Tueni’s convoy drove by. Three other people were killed and 10 were seriously wounded.

An outspoken advocate of press freedom in the Arab world and well known to the international media, Tueni was one of the leading architects of Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution and it was clear that his life was in danger, especially in the wake of Hariri’s assassination.

The international tribunal that was tasked with investigating the Hariri assassination decided to extend its mandate to cover all of the high-profile political murders from the start of October 2004 if they appeared to be linked to Hariri’s death.

An An-Nahar representative told Reporters Without Borders that the international investigation is continuing. She added that it is being conducted with complete secrecy and those in charge have not said whether they have learned anything about Tueni’s death.

In Tueni’s memory, the World Association of Newspapers awards a Gebran Tueni Prize each year to an Arab newspaper editor or publisher.

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