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Commemorating Gibran Ghassan Tueni.

Six years have passed since the martyrdom of my dear colleague Gibran Tueni, whose voice would be raised in his Paris office, which he shared with al-Hayat, while discussing things with a defender of the Syrian regime's policy in Lebanon. Tueni was killed six year ago because he, with his pen, voice and television appearances, together with another martyred colleague, the talented journalist and writer Samir Kassir, were among the earliest condemners of the dictatorship of the oppressive regime in Damascus. The sin of Gibran and Samir, as with Salim Lawzi and Kamel Mroue in 1966, was that their pens told the unvarnished truth. Thus, the criminal regime wanted to kill them and stop them from telling the brutal facts to people. Gibran, Samir, Pierre, Rafik and Wissam were all blown up; they are all martyrs for Lebanon, but this is not enough. The criminal hand that felled the martyrs of Lebanon who died to liberate their country from the oppression of the Syrian regime has now turned to the children of Syria, and its people. The scenes of murder committed by the Syrian regime against children, and its torture, and pulling out of fingernails, are horrific. Can the authorities evade their responsibilities?

Manon Loizeau, the war correspondent for France's Elle magazine, quotes seven-year-old Nour, and how she remembers 13-year-old Hamza Khatib, who was tortured by regime thugs and then disappeared at the beginning of the demonstrations in Deraa. His corpse was then returned to his family, and showed signs of horrific torture. The reporter describes the sight of Salma, the mother of three-year-old Salim as she lifts his clothes to show her the gunshots in his stomach. Salma says that she was returning from a demonstration and that a number of men were protecting the demonstration. Suddenly, the army began firing on the protestors and killing women and children. Salma recounts how a pregnant woman and the woman's son were killed before her eyes.

It is as if we are hearing tales from the Nazi era. What is taking place in Syria is intolerable! The horrible crimes should be stopped, and the perpetrators put on trial. There is no doubt that they are finished, and they know this. This is why they are becoming more brutal and oppressive, and killing more people. The end of the criminals is like the end of a fly that crashes into a windowpane, in the last seconds of its life, and tries to exit, but is blocked: the end. The killing and torture of Syria's children is part of a policy of mad oppression, which cannot continue. The brave Syrian people are going into the streets, and are turning into a people of martyrdom. The small minority that benefits from the regime continues to repeat that "nothing is happening in Syria." Everything being said is lies and conspiracies. They are like the ruler who completely denies reality, like Assad's denial of reality and his responsibility for what is taking place, in his interview with Barbara Walters. The killing and torture of children certainly means the end of the regime, which has become more psychopathic; it moved from Rafik to Gibran, Samir and Pierre and the Lebanese martyrs, to all martyrs for freedom in Syria, and the children of this brave people. God rest the souls of all Lebanese and Syrian martyrs and may the souls of the pure children find repose in heaven. The punishment for the perpetrators has become imminent, because the madness cannot continue, no matter how difficult ending it may be!

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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Dec 14, 2011
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