Journalists Remember Samir Kassir
from AFP - 03.06.2005 14:55
Hundreds of grieving Lebanese journalists stood in silence early Friday in Martyrs' Square in downtown Beirut to denounce the assassination of prominent anti-Syrian writer Samir Kassir.
Wearing black and white, journalists gathered around the Statue of the Martyrs for one hour of silence, in response to a call for the protest by the An Nahar newspaper, where Kassir was a prominent editorial writer.
Many journalists raised black-and-white portraits of the slain journalist.
"Martyr of the uprising for the independence," read a large portrait of Kassir raised on the square which had been the site of a popular upheaval earlier this year against Syrian domination of the country.
Silence was just briefly interrupted by bells tolling from a nearby church in solidarity with the journalists.
"This hour of silence is a protest against the attempt to silence the media," said the presenter of the LBCI television station which covered the protest live.
The upheaval was triggered by the February 14 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri that rushed the withdrawal of Syrian troops which was completed at the end of April under intense international pressure.
Traffic was slow across the capital where a general strike called by the opposition was only partly observed, with some shops, malls and schools remaining shut.