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Theoretically...Bashir Gemayel's Assassin will be Executed

Theoretically...Bashir Gemayel's Assassin will be Executed

Monday, 23 October, 2017 - 08:45
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad.

Misleading slogans were popular at the onset of the 1980s which marked the worst turning point in the region’s history and led to a never ending deteriorating political situation. If terrorism had been contained during that phase, perhaps terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS wouldn't have existed.

Only eleven months after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel was killed in Beirut.

Gemayel was only 34-years-old when he was killed. He was an ambitious outspoken young man, rejecting fierce forces led by Syria which had occupied Lebanon for over seven years. Syrian authorities ruled Lebanon along with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other rival factions after their expulsion from Jordan.

Iran was establishing a foothold in Lebanon and formed during that bloody year a party named Hezbollah which will later dominate the country and its surrounding.

The murderers of President Sadat belonged to the armed Jamaa al-Islamiyya, while Gemayel’s killer was a Christian who belonged to the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

The two assassinations took place because the regimes of "steadfastness and confrontation" front wanted to disable the peace process.

"Steadfastness and Confrontation" was established to confront Sadat's declaration that he planned to achieve peace.

Iraq's Saddam, Syria's Assad, Libya's Gaddafi competed on leading the violent front which also included Algeria, South Yemen, and the PLO.

In such atmosphere, radical Arab governments played the role of today's terrorist organizations or so-called “liberation” groups.

Habib Shartouni, who assassinated Gemayel, was merely a tool in the hands of the Syrian regime which considered the president-elect a threat to its political and military presence in Lebanon.

Following his crime, Shartouni was arrested and imprisoned for eight years to be released later by the Syrian troops that took control of almost the entire country. 

In Lebanon, leaders along with thousands of innocent people have lost their lives as a price for the dirty regional game, which further divided the region and turned it chaotic. The rights of the Palestinian people were lost because the regimes didn't fight back, didn't agree to compromise, and didn't allow the Palestinians to choose their own fate.

Gemayel's assassin is on the run and all what the Lebanese judicial system did was to sentence him to death in absentia. A decision that came 34 years late.

Maybe it would have been better not to issue a sentence rather than having it issued and not respected. 

The assassin has made a newspaper interview – not his first - mocking the government and its institutions.

Shartouni is not the only murderer on the loose. Killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are also living freely and safely although the international tribunal has revealed their identities and demanded their arrest along with murderers of other Lebanese officials.

Justice in Lebanon is relative. Ahmed al-Asir is another murderer because he is a Hezbollah foe. He was arrested and sentenced to death; and he might deserve this punishment. However, the judicial system only registered a theoretical sentence against Shartouni, though he personally confessed to killing the President-elect and twenty other political figures.

No one dared to administer justice.

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