Students flock to Martyrs' Square to denounce security situation

Posted in Broader Middle East | 11-Oct-05 | Author: Nada Bakri| Source: The Daily Star (Lebanon Edition)

Families of assassination targets join demonstration

BEIRUT: "Enough of assassinations, explosions, crimes, terrorism, oppression," chanted some 100 students as they protested in Martyrs' Square Monday to denounce the failing security situation in the country. The protesters were drawn from 13 political parties and movements who organized the Kafa, or "Enough," campaign, which was launched in response to the assassination attempt on prominent television presenter May Chidiac.

The protest was also held to support the families of the six people who were targeted for assassination over the past few months.

In addition to Chidiac, who survived an assassination attempt but was left severely wounded, An-Nahar columnist Samir Kassir was targeted and killed on June 2. The politicians targeted include former Premier Rafik Hariri and Finance Minister Bassel Fleihan, killed on February 14 in a massive blast, as well as former communist party leader George Hawi, and Telecommunication Minister Marwan Hamade, who survived the assassination attempt.

"To those who are still trying to mess with our security, and I mean the Syrian-Lebanese security regime, we tell them 'we are a rebellious generation, a generation of national unity, freedom and sacrifice,'" said Rayan Ismail of the Democratic Left Movement.

Ismail added: "No one will stop us from pursuing our victory and we will not give up on any of our rights. Our demand today is to establish a modern country for all Lebanese, a country that guarantees a decent life for its people."

Sidon MP Bahia Hariri praised the efforts of the protesters for following in the steps of her slain brother.

Hariri said: "The perpetrators who killed Premier Hariri know that the truth will be discovered and so they are trying to terrify the Lebanese with these explosions."

She added: "You have to send a message to them that we will not allow them to mess with our security, our national unity and with our freedom."

Giselle Khoury, Kassir's widow, said he had dedicated his life to freedom and was the first to foresee a day when all Lebanese would be united, in reference to the March 14 demonstration.

Hawi's step son Rafi Madayan said: "The goal behind these assassinations was to destroy Lebanon if we refused to submit to the Syrian-Lebanese dictator regime. We will not let the murderers sow division among the Lebanese and we tell them enough of the crimes and assassinations."

Micheline Chidiac, Chidiac's sister, said: "We are gathered here to tell the killers that we are not afraid and that the truth is stronger than anything you try to impose on us."