February 4th, 2021, was marked by the assassination of prominent Lebanese activist and Hezbollah-critic Lokman Slim, who was found dead in his car’s driver seat lying face down in a pool of blood.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Slim was shot four times in the head and once in the back, the state-run National News Agency reported.
According to his sister Rasha, her brother went missing overnight after visiting a poet friend of his and he would not answer his phone, according to a tweet by his wife who was trying to reach him.
It prompted his family to worry, and for a valid reason.
Slim was receiving an alarming number of threats following a recent television interview in which he had criticized the broken political scene in Lebanon and urged the formation of a new government.
“The claim to the neutrality of Lebanon today, despite its importance, remains unenforceable in light of Hezbollah’s domination of the country and the government,” Slim had stated in that interview.
According to his sister Rasha, her brother had told her that he had been worried about his fate, even predicting a year ago that if anything bad were to happen to him, Hezbollah would be fully responsible “for what happened and what might happen.”
Rasha was at the police station to report him missing when she found out about her brother’s gruesome murder through a news alert.
His phone was found on the side of a road.
“What a big loss. And they lost a noble enemy too… It’s rare for someone to argue with them and live among them with respect,” she said, hinting about Hezbollah. “Killing is the only language they are fluent in,” she added.
Hours after the news shook Lebanon and social media, with countless comments accusing Hezbollah, and foreign ambassadors to Lebanon condemning Slim’s assassination, including Jan Kubis from his new post in Libya, Hezbollah issued a statement.
The Iran-backed party, which members have threatened Slim countless times, accusing him of traitor and spy, condemned the killing. It asked for an investigation to “combat political and media exploitation” of this case and others.
“The judiciary in Lebanon is not independent,” Slim’s sister told France24. “So frankly, my family and myself are not expecting the investigation to lead to any murderers.”
“His murderers are known,” she added. “He wrote about them many times.”
Soon after the announcement of Lockman Slim‘s murder, dozens of anti-Hezbollah protesters gathered in front of the Justice Palace in Beirut, expressing their anger and demanding justice.