Lebanon and the Hariri assassination: no time for justice

The article was published on the Pomegranate blog of The Economist on 16 January, 2014

WHEN the Special Tribunal for Lebanon finally opens its trial today, January 16th, prosecutors in The Hague will address an empty dock. The four suspects who stand accused of carrying out the February 14th 2005 bombing that killed Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others in Beirut will be absent. Equally absent is any sense of excitement about the trial in Lebanon.

Media interest has been largely restricted to outlets owned by the Hariri family, such as Future TV and the Daily Star, a newspaper. Politicians have remained largely silent, wary of causing fights in a country riven by political and sectarian divides. “Is that this week?” a worker at a non-governmental organisation replied when asked about the trial.

The Lebanese have plenty more pressing problems to focus on. There is growing insecurity, including a raft of bombings that have taken on a dangerous tit-for-tat rhythm, reflecting tensions between Sunnis and Shia that have been worsened by the war next door in Syria. The most recent explosion, on December 27th in central Beirut, killed Muhammad Shatah, a former finance minister and ambassador in America. New rumours circulate daily of which areas to avoid. 

Read the whole post here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2014/01/lebanon-and-hariri-assassination


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