"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Tuesday, April 09, 2024

How was Sleiman killed? Judicial official reveals murder details - Naharnet

 Lebanese security forces have arrested seven Syrians on suspicion of involvement in the abduction and murder of Lebanese Forces politician Pascal Sleiman opposed to the Syrian government, a judicial official said Tuesday.

Sleiman was the coordinator in the Byblos (Jbeil) area, north of Beirut, for the Lebanese Forces which opposes Damascus and its ally Hezbollah.

The Lebanese Forces said it would consider Sleiman's murder a "political assassination until proven otherwise", although the army said the politician had been killed for his car.

Social media users pointed the finger at Hezbollah, drawing a denial from its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

"The number of people arrested for kidnapping and killing... Sleiman, rose to seven, all of them Syrian," a judicial official told AFP.

"The kidnappers admitted that their goal was stealing the victim's car," the official added.

The official said the suspects told investigators they hit Sleiman with pistol butts on the head and face until he stopped resisting. They then threw him in the boot of his own car and drove him to Syria. He died on the way there.

A military official told AFP that Damascus had handed over three of the suspects.

He said Sleiman's body had been found in an area of Syria near the Lebanese border which is infamous for lawlessness.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a body corresponding to the description of the victim had been dumped in an area near the border where Hezbollah holds sway.

"The body was wrapped in a blanket and had been hit on the head and chest with a hard object," the Britain-based war monitor said.

On Monday, hundreds of residents blocked roads in Byblos, with footage circulating on social media of violence against Syrians -- many of them refugees from their country's more than decade-old civil war.

Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the killing and called for "everyone to exercise self-control".