Lebanese activist and Hezbollah critic Lockman Slim was found dead in his car last year, and his family is still awaiting responsibility.
Beirut Lebanon – A year after the assassination of Hezbollah activist and critic Lockman Slim, his family is still facing responsibility.
“The investigation continues, but unfortunately a year later no one has been charged and no one has been arrested,” his widow, German director Monica Borgmann, told Al Jazeera.
“The investigation is now under way in Beirut and I have attended two hearings before a judge.
Slim disappeared a year ago after visiting a friend in the southern Lebanese city of Niha. He was found dead the next morning in a black Toyota rental car on a quiet road between two villages in the region.
He was shot five times in the head and once in the back. Borgman confirmed a few days later that there were no signs of torture after the autopsy.
Human Rights Watch said in a new report Thursday that local investigations into Lockman Slim’s killings and three other “politically sensitive murder investigations” have failed, and questioned the impartiality of Lebanese law enforcement.
Aya Maizub, a researcher at Human Rights Watch in Lebanon, told Al Jazeera that the investigation into Slim’s murder was “strained by procedural irregularities.”
“Unfortunately, we have begun to expect little progress in politically sensitive murder investigations,” Maizub said.
“For decades, the killers of journalists, politicians and activists have gone unpunished, maintaining a culture of impunity and allowing these heinous crimes to continue.
Lockman Slim is remembered as a political analyst, activist and intellectual. Slim co-founded UMAM Documentation and Research in 2005, a non-profit organization that mainly includes an extensive historical archive and cultural and exhibition space called Hangar, and the civic organization Hayya Binna (Let’s Go).
Slim’s family launches a photo exhibition in the hangar to honor Slim’s legacy.
“The whole hangar is already dedicated to Lockman,” Borgman told Al Jazeera.
Slim was also one of the most outspoken Shiite critics of Iran-backed Hezbollah. In a recent media appearance, he said Hezbollah and the Syrian government were linked to the explosive material that caused the explosion at the port of Beirut in August 2020.
Borgman said Hezbollah threatened Slim several times before the killing. In December 2019, Hezbollah supporters pasted posters on the walls in front of his home in the southern suburbs of Beirut with pro-Hezbollah slogans and messages accusing him of being a traitor.
Lebanon’s troubled history has been marked by political assassinations, a 15-year civil war and the explosion in the port of Beirut, which has leveled several neighborhoods in the capital with virtually no responsibility for the perpetrators.
Mohanad Hage Ali, a research fellow at the Malcolm H Kerr Carnegie Center for the Middle East in Beirut, said Lebanese political leaders, including Hezbollah, would try to “push” him. [the assassination] under the carpet until everyone forgets.
“They will try to deal with the most heinous financial and economic crime since the founding of Lebanon in the same way,” Hage Ali told Al Jazeera. “There is no responsibility behind a great smokescreen of contradictory and contradictory political and sectarian accusations.”
Borgman says much of her work with Slim has been dedicated to ending impunity, and she would be ready to seek international justice if necessary. But she hopes that can be achieved in Lebanon.
“Lebanon’s history is not very optimistic, there are more than 200 political assassinations and there is almost no responsibility – very little,” she said. “But I still believe that history can change.”