R.I.P: Gibran Tueni (1957-2005)

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Gibran Tueni, 48, publisher of al-Nahar daily newspaper, member of the Lebanese parliament, and the World Association of Newspaper’s board member for Middle East Affairs, was assassinated this morning in Beirut.

An outspoken editorialist against Syrian involvement in his country, he had recently returned to Beirut after fleeing to Paris for his safety, along with a number of other anti-Syrian Lebanese, in August.

Mr. Tueni’s armoured automobile was travelling on a mountainous road through the Christian-dominated Mekallis area of eastern Beirut during this rush hour this monring when a bomb it off the road and sent it rolling down a hill, according to the BBC’s reports and photos.

In June, one of Tueni’s newspaper columnists, Samir Qasir, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut. Two other Lebanese journalist who had criticised Syrian influence in Lebanon have been killed since the February 2005 car bomb assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri

Mr. Tueni was a WAN Board Member for 10 years. In the mid-1990s, he received that organization’s ‘Award for Publishing Achievement’ for his courage and perseverance in publishing his newspaper throughout the Lebanese civil war. He was for many years a leading member of the WAN Press Freedom Committee and participated in press freedom missions to China and Algeria, among others.

He leaves a wife and four daughters, including twins just a few months old.

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