July 31, 2021
Middle East

Hezbollah critic Lokman Slim shot dead in southern Lebanon

independent.ie- Lebanese activist Lokman Slim was found fatally shot in a car yesterday morning, a killing that fellow activists took as a warning from Iran-backed Hezbollah, of whom Mr Slim was a sharp critic.

Mr Slim, a political activist and commentator in his late 50s, was a Shiite Lebanese who had been vociferously against Hezbollah – originally a Shiite militant group that now, with its allies, holds the most power in government and effectively operates as a state within a state.

He also made films with his wife, Monika Borgmann, and had long been critical of Hezbollah. In a recent TV interview he blamed the group for the port blast that ripped through Beirut, killing more than 200 in the capital and injuring thousands.

Around 2am, Ms Borgmann tweeted that her husband – who was in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah holds sway – was not answering his phone and had not been seen since 8pm on Wednesday.

By noon yesterday, Lebanon’s state news agency had reported his body had been found in a car, without phone or identification. The coroner that examined him said he was hit by four bullets in the head and one in the back.

Lebanon has become bleakly accustomed to assassinations and assassination attempts, but Mr Slim’s killing was especially alarming, in that he wasn’t a top political actor or a widely well-known figure.

Ayman Mhanna, executive director of the Samir Kassir Foundation, which focuses on media freedom in Lebanon, said the killing was a message to activists and a sign that assassinations are no longer necessarily bound to “household names, but people who have influence in shaping public opinion”. (© The Washington Post)

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