BEIRUT: Politicians and colleagues remembered prominent journalist and politician Gebran Tueni Tuesday, 12 years after he was assassinated in Beirut.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri commemorated Tueni in a tweet, using an excerpt from the latter’s famous oath.
“We will remain united as Muslims and Christians in defense of the Great Lebanon,” Hariri tweeted. “God bless Gebran and all of our martyrs.”
MP Boutros Harb said that the memory of Tueni’s assassination “still burns our hearts, but the persistence [of attempts to destroy] the principals that we have been martyred for ... is what drives us today and every day.”
Harb added, in direct address to Tueni: “We know that you are turning in your grave, rejecting the [hijacking] of our sovereignty, will and freedom – especially the freedom of opinion.”
The former telecommunications minister said, “Do not forgive them, Gebran.”
MPs Sami Gemayel and Nadim Gemayel also both tweeted in commemoration of Tueni, who was killed at the age of 48.
Nabil Bou Monsef, the deputy editor-in-chief of local daily An-Nahar, which Tueni had helmed at the time of his death, took to Twitter Monday evening to address the slain man: “Tomorrow is your day: Where are the days of bravery?”
The newspaper’s managing editor, Ghassan Hajjar, posted a picture of the An-Nahar building alongside a picture of Tueni.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Elias Murr posted a picture of himself and Tueni to his Instagram account, saying: "To the Memory of Gebran Tueni, the journalist for freedom and peace. Killed by a terrorist attack on Dec. 12, 2005."
A massive poster bearing a picture of Tueni was hung in remembrance on the outside of the An-Nahar offices, with the legend “What are you all waiting for to wake up?” splashed above the image.
Tueni, an outspoken critic of Syria and a leading figure in the now-defunct March 14 movement, was killed by a car bomb while driving through Mkalles en route to the An-Nahar building in downtown Beirut on Monday, Dec. 12, 2005.
He had returned to Lebanon from Paris less than 24 hours before the bombing. At the time of his return, he had told those close to him that he had chosen to return after being assured it was “safe” from foreign intelligence agents.
Tueni returned from Paris Sunday night, after attending a ceremony in which his father Ghassan was awarded a Legion of Honor medal. The older Tueni returned to Beirut Monday night after receiving news of his son's assassination.
Gebran Tueni, a former MP, was one of many March 14 figures whose assassinations are thought to have been orchestrated by pro-Damascus factions. He stood alongside former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri as a leader of the opposition to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon.
The string of assassinations knocking out anti-Syrian voices led to the Cedar Revolution – a series of massive street protests following Hariri’s assassination that were held to demand the end of Syrian tutelage.
An annual mass to commemorate Tueni was held Sunday in Beirut’s St. George Orthodox Church in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani and a number of lawmakers and officials.