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The New Arab Staff

Lebanese protesters stage sit-in condemning killing of Hezbollah critic Lokman Slim

Protesters gathered in the Samir Kassir garden following a call for a "silent protest" [AFP]

Date of publication: 6 February, 2021

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The protesters gathered in the Samir Kassir garden following a call for a "silent protest".
Dozens of people gathered in Downtown Beirut on Saturday to protest this week's killing of prominent Lebanese publisher and harsh critic of the militant Hezbollah group Lokman Slim.

The protesters gathered in the Samir Kassir garden following a call for a "silent protest".

Slim was found in his car in southern Lebanon on Thursday with multiple gunshot wounds.

The brazen killing sparked fears of a return to political violence in the country gripped by social and economic upheaval. 

"This is a political assassination of one of the most prominent public opinion figures in Lebanon, Lokman Slim,” Assad Bishara, a political analyst told AP

"I will speak about the period afterward and if there is an investigation, this investigation should on the basis of evidence say who killed Lokman Slim," Bishara said.

"Otherwise, it is known where Lokman Slim was killed and it is known who threatened him. It is known whom he blamed, (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah and (Parliament Speaker Nabih) Berri."

Read also: Lokman Slim: daring Lebanese activist, admired intellectual

Slim's family said on Friday they want a forensic doctor they hired to determine whether he was tortured before he was killed.

The long-time Shia political activist and researcher went missing on Wednesday night after a trip south to visit friends. 

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV and some local Lebanese TV stations have reported that Slim may have been tortured while local officials speculated that bruises on his face indicate he was punched before he was killed.

Lebanese security forces found Slim's car on a rural road near the southern village of Addoussieh, in Sidon province. He was heading back to Beirut in the evening after his visit.

Perpetrators of political violence or corruption are almost never identified or prosecuted in Lebanon.

With rising tension amid deepening political dispute and economic crisis, officials have warned of a return of violence and assassinations.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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