Samir Kassir: He had dared to speak
babelmed - 09/06/2005
An Outspoken journalist and opposition figure who railed against Syria's presence in Lebanon, Samir Kassir was killed by a bomb in his car in Beirut on Thursday 2nd of June. Explosives placed under the driver's seat of his Alfa Romeo were detonated shortly after he got into the car in the Beirut neighborhood where he lived.
The attack on Kassir was interpreted by opposition as a warning to other anti-Syrian figures and raised fears of a wider campaign of assassinations.
"If Samir has been assassinated, it means there's a really big list of targets," said Joseph Samaha, a longtime friend of Mr. Kassir's and the editor in chief of Al Safir, a Beirut daily. "It's a crime that hits at the core of the establishment."
The attack prompted accusations of continued Syrian meddling in the country's affairs and opposition calls for the ouster of the pro-Syrian president.
Hundreds of mourners, including key opposition leaders, flocked to the funeral of Kassir on last Saturday amid intensifying calls for an international inquiry into his assassination.
"Samir Kassir, the martyr of the independence intifada," read a huge poster hanging from An-Nahar's building, referring to the mass protests that forced Syria to bow to world pressure and end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon in April.
A writer and historian with both French and Lebanese citizenship, 45-year-old Kassir had been writing columns for the past 10 years for An-Nahar ("The Day" in Arabic). He was also the correspondent of the French-language international television station TV5 and had written for many years for the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique. He was also professor of political sciences at Beirut's St Joseph university.
Babelmed Editorial Team