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Five years after journalist's assassination, no progress made in investigation

(Maharat/IFEX) - Five years have passed since the 12 December 2005 assassination of Lebanese journalist and Member of Parliament Gebran Tueni, who was killed by a car bomb while on his way to work at the "Annahar" newspaper. To date, no progress has been made in the investigation into the murder.

The anniversary coincides this year with talk that the prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will issue an indictment shortly. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was set up to shed light on the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and scores of other political and media figures.

Until this day there is no information about whether or not the indictment will draw a connection between Hariri's assassination and the rest of the relevant assassinations, including those of journalists Samir Kassir and Gebran Tueni, as well as the attempted murder of the news anchor May Chidiac.

Tueni's assassination was one of a series of assassinations of politicians and media workers in 2005, and came six months after the murder of journalist Samir Kassir. Also, the talk show host May Chidiac survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded in September 2005 under the driver's seat of her car near the port city of Jounieh.

It is worth mentioning that, in Tueni's commemoration, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) launched the "Gebran Tueni annual prize for press freedom" for a newspaper, publisher or editor in the Arab world in order to encourage courageous and independent reporting in the region and to defend press freedom.

On this anniversary, Maharat Foundation urges the Lebanese authorities to intensify their efforts to bring those responsible for the journalist's murder to justice, as the killers' remaining at large encourages the impunity that has prevailed in Lebanon during wars, political upheaval and security clampdowns.

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