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Writer, activist survives assassination attempt

(Maharat/IFEX) - Beirut, April 17, 2012 - The political activist and the coordinator of the "Lebanese Sovereignty Movement" Mustafa Geha came under fire in his car while driving on the Damour highway, 20 km south of Beirut, in the evening of Saturday April 14th at around 11:30 p.m. Four bullets pierced through his car. The identity of the attackers remains unknown.

In an interview with Maharat, Geha reported the details of the accident as follows: "Saturday evening, I had a work meeting in Aramoun and while driving my car back home to Damour, a car chased me along the highway and obstructed my way at a turning point. The back door of the driver's side opened and a masked armed man pointed his gun at me and shot five bullets, four of which pierced through my car. The security forces rushed to the scene immediately and started the investigation and reported that the shooters used 9mm bullets that would explode within the body once they penetrated it."

Geha is also a freelance writer for many media institutions and the son of the late journalist Moustafa Geha who was assassinated on January 15, 1992. The elder Geha was known for his opposition to the Syrian and Iranian regimes, and had more than 25 publications among which "Khomeini kills Zarathustra", "the plight of minds in Islam" and "Lebanon under the Baath".

"I have recently been working on republishing two of my father's controversial books, "Khomeini kills Zarathustra" and "My letter to Christians" as these books are not on the market. I also conducted a press conference on January 16 commemorating the 20th anniversary of my father's death to shed light on his case since the investigation into his assassination has not lead anywhere. As well, I launched - along with a group of political activists - the "Lebanese Sovereignty Movement," a political forum that includes liberal academics and activists. My role in launching this initiative and my efforts to highlight my father's case are the motives behind the attack,” said Geha.

Geha stated that he is preparing a case to be filed in the Lebanese courts in an attempt to find his attackers, uncover the circumstances and reasons behind the assassination attempt.

Maharat Foundation condemns the attack on the activist Geha and asks the Lebanese authorities to launch a serious investigation that will ultimately lead to the trial of the shooters. Maharat also calls on the authorities to complete the investigation into the assassination of Geha's father, as well as all the journalists' assassinated in Lebanon. This will go a long way towards ending impunity and the incapacity of the authorities to reveal the identities of the criminals behind the assassinations and the attempted assassinations of journalists and activists.
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