Liebe Monika, dear Sitt Salma Mershak, dear Rasha, Friends of Lokman Slim,
Lokman Slim dedicated his life to the realization of his dream – a society in which freedom, pluralism and open-mindedness would prosper.
His voice was silenced by those who do not want such a society.
I have the outmost respect for his work and his legacy. And I have the outmost respect for you, Monika, Rasha, Selma, who have been continuing – each in her own way – to preserve his legacy, together with Lokman's fearless friends and fellow activists, many of whom are here today.
As we are gathered today to commemorate Lokman's passing, there is no way of escaping the bitter truth that two years after his assassination, we are still waiting for justice to be served. In a joint statement yesterday, four UN Special Rapporteurs have urged the Lebanese authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.
This procrastination in the judicial investigation is even more disturbing as many facts around Lokman’s death are known. This week, a well-researched article was published describing in detail the last hours of Lokman. It is known what his murderers were doing on the 3 February 2021 and it is known where they were heading to after the thoroughly planned execution. It is known how and what his killers communicated with each other.
With all these details known and the technical means of today, it should be possible to get closer to those who committed this crime. The investigation needs to proceed without delay, the perpetrators should be named and brought to justice.
There are people who argue that protecting the interests of the powerful is the price to be paid for civil peace in Lebanon; those who claim that not digging too deep for truth is needed to keep this society on an even keel; those who say that accepting impunity spares Lebanon another civil war…
But is this paradigm really convincing? And has it served Lebanon well?
I firmly believe that truth and justice are necessary to heal the wounds of the past and allow for a new beginning. If acts of violence are not addressed in a proper way and according to the law, no society can find peace and stability.
Lokman’s legacy is also the continued and tireless dedication of the people he worked with as well as the organizations he founded.
This gives me hope that a new beginning for Lebanese society is possible, that brave and peace-loving citizens can break the barrier of silence and end the reign of impunity.
It gives me hope that those will prevail who envisage a future which will celebrate the unique diversity of Lebanon as a strength rather than regard it as a source of friction.
Lokman wanted to overcome religious, ethnic, and political divides and fulfill the promise of Lebanon as a just and democratic society for all its citizens.
This was Lokman's cause.
This is his lasting legacy.