In memory of Martyr Arab
Journalists and Writers
Published by AAI - Just
Mourns Passing of Samir Kassir
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's opposition accused
Syria on Thursday of continuing to interfere in its politics,
blaming Damascus for the killing of a prominent anti-Syrian
journalist who died when a bomb exploded under his car.
Opposition leaders called for a general strike Friday to protest the
killing of Samir Kassir, who died as an international team was
investigating the February assassination of former premier Rafiq
Hariri. Anti-Syrian leaders were quick to make a link between the
Hariri's son and political heir, Saad Hariri, said the same people
were behind both assassinations, "and God knows what's coming."
Syria denied involvement in Thursday morning's bombing of Kassir's
car in the Christian Beirut neighbourhood of Ashrafieh, where he
lived. The explosion, which shattered windows in nearby buildings,
came amid Lebanese parliamentary elections that the opposition hopes
to win, ending Syria's control of the legislature.
A Syrian information ministry official said such accusations were
"expected due to the role of their promoters in the campaigns that
harm Syria." After a Thursday night meeting, the opposition
reiterated calls for the resignation of Lebanese President Emile
Lahoud, an ally of Syria. But a representative of the Christian
opposition leader Michel Aoun walked out of the meeting, saying
Kassir's killing was being used for political purposes.
In Washington, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemned the
killing as a "heinous act." Visiting EU foreign policy chief Javier
Solana said it was a tragedy, adding that Kassir was "a very honest
man." US Ambassador to Beirut Jeffry Fieltman said Kassir had
symbolised Lebanon's "desire for freedom, sovereignty and
democracy." After meeting Hariri late Thursday, Fieltman said Kassir
had "served the voice of those Lebanese who fought and yearned for
freedom, independence, and the end of the heavy-handed Syrian
occupation of Lebanon." Hariri defiantly told reporters: "We want
our freedom, we want our independence, we want our sovereignty and
no one is going to stop us."
Interior Minister Hassan Sabei estimated that the bomb that killed
Kassir had weighed about half a kilogramme. He said initial reports
indicated it was detonated by remote control.
Afterward, Kassir's body lay slumped to one side of the car.
Colleagues wept at the scene of the explosion. Police sealed off the
area, preventing people from approaching.
Kassir, a 45-year-old Christian, was an academic and founding member
of the Democratic Left Movement, a small group that played an active
role in the protest campaign against Damascus' control. He wrote a
column in An-Nahar, a leading newspaper that frequently criticises
Syria, and was a regular on television talk shows.
In a recent television appearance, he said he had long received
threats from security agents trying to silence him.
Kassir was of Palestinian descent, and his Lebanese passport was
confiscated in March 2001 by authorities in what he said was part of
a campaign to intimidate him.
The February assassination of Hariri, a former prime minister and
vocal opponent of Syrian influence in Lebanon, sparked anti-Syrian
protests and international pressure that forced Syria to withdraw
its army after 29 years of political and military dominance. The
opposition has blamed Syria and its Lebanese allies in the security
services for Hariri's assassination, a charge Damascus has denied.
Damascus also denies claims by opposition politicians and the United
States that Syria has kept intelligence agents in Lebanon. Lebanon's
opposition blames the Syrian-Lebanese intelligence apparatus for a
spate of bombings of commercial areas in recent months that have
killed three people and wounded more than two dozen.
Kassir's killing comes at a crucial time for Lebanon. The country is
in the midst of parliamentary elections, which began Sunday and run
through June 19. A UN-mandated team led by a German prosecutor is
investigating the assassination of Hariri.
Opposition leaders turned their wrath on Syria and on its closest
Lebanese ally, President Lahoud. "Samir Kassir was assassinated by
the remnants of the security agencies that control the country and
that is headed by Emile Lahoud," said Walid Jumblatt, a vocal
opponent of Syria, on Future television.
Lahoud condemned the bombing, and Prime Minister Najib Miqati vowed
that his government "will not allow anyone to target security and
freedom." Gibran Tueni, general manager of An-Nahar newspaper, went
to the scene of the bombing and said: "The Lebanese security
authorities and the remnants of the Syrian system in Lebanon, and
directly the Syrian regime from top to bottom, is responsible for
every crime and every drop of blood spilled." The Syrian information
ministry official said the accusations "contribute to the political
and media pressures exercised on Syria in a bid to gain the
blessings of Syria's and Lebanon's enemies." The official, who was
not identified, stressed Syria's determination "not to interfere in
internal Lebanese affairs and hoped that the others would not
interfere in those affairs," Syria's official SANA news agency
Robert Minard, secretary-general of the international media watchdog
Reporters Without Borders, condemned the murder and urged the Hariri
probe to look into the case.
Kassir also had French citizenship.
The French government condemned the attack "with the greatest
firmness," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.
Giselle Khoury, Kassir's wife, demanded
a French and international investigation into her husband's
assassination, Al Arabiya satellite channel reported.
Khoury, a journalist who works for Al Arabiya, was in the
United States at the time of the explosion.
Dima Tahboub widow of Tareq, the Al
Jazeera correspondent killed
by US missile at the station's office in Baghdad on the 8th of
addressed a crowd of more than 100,000 demonstrators at
speaking of her personal tragedy which is just an example of
similar tragedies caused by US governments
The war on
The US is
determined to suppress the independent Arab media
Dima Tareq Tahboub
Saturday October 4, 2003
When my husband decided to go to Baghdad, he knew that I would
protest. He told me that I was exaggerating the risks; that
there was nothing to be afraid of because he was a reporter, an
objective witness, neither on this nor that side, and because of
that was protected by world protocol. He bid us farewell,
apologising for having been so busy. He promised to make it up
to me and our daughter, Fatimah, when he returned.
Tareq left for al-Jazeera's
Baghdad office on April 5. He called me when he arrived - the
journey was hellish, he said. He sounded exhausted, because he
was sleeping only three hours a day, between shifts. Back home
in Jordan, our life wasn't any better; we could hardly sleep and
sat mesmerised in front of the TV waiting for Tareq to appear in
a live report so we'd know he was OK.
More details please click
Mourns Passing of Edward Said
Palestinian American thinker
and academic Edward Said (68) passed away early Thursday, September
25 Palestine time in a New York hospital after more than a decade of
struggle with leukemia. He was University Professor of English and
Comparative Literature at Columbia University . Professor Said's
passing is a tremendous loss for activists on the question of
Palestine and for academia. He was a true renaissance man,
well-versed not only in his own discipline of comparative
literature, but also in philosophy, music, and history. He was the
music editor for The Nation in the 1990s; he was also an
accomplished pianist. Last spring, Columbia University celebrated
the 25 th anniversary jubilee of his seminal work, Orientalism
, which has had far-reaching effects on the humani ties and
social sciences, and is widely credited for initiating the field of
postcolonial studies . Among his influential books about the
Palestinian question are The Question of Palestine ,
After the Last Sky , and The Politics of Dispossession
. His 1993 Reith Lectures, published as Representations of the
Intellectual , explore the role of the politically committed
intellectual. He is also the recipient of many international prizes,
including the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Professor Said, a Christian
Palestinian born in Jerusalem in 1935, was deeply committed to his
people's cause. He served on the Palestinian National Council in the
1980s, and was an important figure in Arab-American activist
networks. More recently, he had been a strong advocate for
democratization in Palestine , and he was fiercely critical of the
Oslo Agreements, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Israeli
occupation. His eloquence and elegance at his many speaking
engagements impressed audiences in New York City and around the
world; his fierce prose in bi-weekly articles published in Al-Ahram
Weekly were read eagerly on both the Arab street and around the
world on the Internet. He was proud of the fact that despite the
many trials of his illness, and his many hospitalizations, he hardly
ever missed Al-Ahram 's publication deadline. His articles
have been regularly published on Amin.org in Arabic and English.
Amin conveys its deepest
sympathies to Professor Said's family. We urge all who respected his
work to carry on with Professor Said's efforts for justice, peace,
and democracy in Palestine.
"unconscionable" death of Mazen
Are journalists being
war zones? To a colleague of the slain Reuters cameraman, it sure
seems that way.
here for details
Laura McClure is assistant news editor at Salon.
Walid Batrawi E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordanian Riham Farra killed in UN blast
(JT) — A former Al Arab Al Yawm columnist working as a
spokesperson for the UN was killed Tuesday in the explosion at the
UN headquarters in Baghdad.
Farra, 29, was working in Arabic for the agency's public relations
office. Her first day of work in Baghdad was the day of the blast,
said her sister Rula. Farra was only expected to be in Iraq for a
month, filling in for a colleague.
all knew she would be something special. But God did not give her
enough time to achieve all her goals,” said a tearful Rula.
least 23 people were killed and 100 wounded when a truck bearing a
massive bomb, grenades and other weapons exploded just outside the
hotel the UN had fashioned into its headquarters.
said her sister had begun writing books, poetry and stories at the
age of nine. She grew up to be the first daily female political
columnist in Jordan during her four years at Al Arab Al Yawm.
left Jordan in 2001 to continue her higher education in England,
then turning down a job with the BBC to work for the UN in New York
just nine months ago “before the ink was even dry on her
degree,” said Rula.
was hoping to work for the UN so one day she could help her people
in Palestine,” Rula explained. “She hoped to help the people
suffering in Iraq.”
had a “very clever, strong and critical way of writing,” said
Jamil Nimri, a fellow columnist at Al Arab Al Yawm. “I was
surprised when I (first) saw her, this small, shy girl.”
said he had often discussed politics and their columns with Farra
during her time at the paper.
said he was impressed by the strong voice in her articles, which
frequently criticised the government.
said her sister was always independent and “had the courage to
write what the other male columnists here wouldn't.”
used to consider her one of the most open-minded journalists in
Jordan,” said Fattah Mansour, manager of Al Hadaf newspaper, an
associate of Farra for several years. “She was very brave.”
said Farra was a strong advocate for freedom of speech and was
active at the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists that
Mansour helped found.
graduated with a degree in journalism from Yarmouk University and
began her career at Sheehan weekly newspaper, where she later became
OF MEDIA [ NAZEEH DARWAZEH ]
CLUB - NABLUS
ON THE MURDER OF ASSOCIATED PRESS AND PALESTINE TV CAMERAMAN , NAZIH
DARWAZEH, 43, ON 19TH APRIL, 2003, IN NABLUS CITY
the Palestinian Journalists and Cameramen who worked with foreign
news agencies and with Palestinian newspapers, local Radio and TV
stations here in Nablus :-
We wish to express our concern at the completely
unjustifiable murder of Nazih and our outrage at the evasive
response of the IDF to our demand that the gunman who killed him in
cold blood be brought to justice. Major Sharon Weingold, the IDF spokesperson maintains that
they cannot identify the man who fired the bullet which shattered
Nazih’s skull, even though the shooting was captured on extensive
video footage from several press cameramen who were standing close
to the murdered man. She
further attempts to escape the ethical and legal issues involved in
the killing of a journalist, in her statement, which includes the
words “… the entry of Press … endangers the forces (!) and the
thirdly, she attempts to shift the blame, when she asserts that the
attacking Israeli soldiers came under defensive fire from a nearby
alley (though no defending fire was witnessed then) and that the
fatal shot may have come from there.
kind of evasive justification from the IDF, showing complete
disregard for truth and International
Law, gives us cause for concern that this kind of unjustified murder
will be repeated and that more journalists may be murdered merely
for recording the truth.
speaking with ten witnesses, including four Journalists, who were
close to our friend at the time of the killing, we are absolutely
certain that the shot came from a particular Israeli soldier who
deliberately targeted Nazih’s right eye.
call upon our colleagues worldwide – members of the IFJ,
journalists, cameramen and editorial staff and others, of all
nationalities and all political persuasions - from the USA, the UK
and Europe, from the Arab countries and from Israel, indeed from
everywhere, to protest at this criminal act and to note our deep
concern and worry over the ‘explanation’ given by the IDF
all of it is in the same vein as the distortions we have been fed
previously when covering, or reporting on, similar crimes committed
by the occupying army, and for which no one is ever brought to
demand support from all of you, and we ask that you stand united
with us, so that this killing will not be allowed to pass without
the indictment of the murderer of our, and your, colleague.
we would like to remind you of Article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights :-
… for every person has the right to enjoy free _expression of
opinion … and this
right includes the right to freedom to hold beliefs and opinions
without harassment and to follow the news and the facts, and to
receive it and to send it to others by any means regardless of
Journalist club- Nablus
In memory of Martyr Arab
Journalists and Writers
Published by AAI - Just