Georges Rif: Demanding a fast execution for Tarek Yatim isn’t justice.

Georges Rif was horribly attacked by a thug following an altercation on the road. Georges Rif refused to let his car overtaken by a small Kia. The Kia aggressively overtook the car by bumping into it (the car wasn’t driven by the killer). Georges Rif and his wife crashed but their car were still functioning. They followed the Kia car to take its plate number from the Salim Slam tunnel to Saifi, Achrafieh. When they arrived at an impasse in the Saifi neighborhood, Tarek Yatim forcefully took Georges Rif from the car, hunted him down after his victim tried to run, and hit him several times with a knife and the back of his gun. His wife who were accompanying him, witnessed this attack.

Georges Rif were taken to a hospital and was declared dead few hours later. He left a wife and four children. Tarek Yatim, quickly identified, were arrested by the police. It’s imported to note that Tarek Yatim had charges against him before killing Georges Rif, including murder.

The Lebanese social media was very fast to condemn Tarek Yatim. Reactions were passionate and bloggers quickly and understandably condemned the security and state of Lebanon, calling the country a jungle. But some reactions were just taken too far.

Some quickly demanded that justice should be made by inflicting the capital punishment of Tarek Yatim. But justice isn’t demanding an execution. For example, a Facebook page was created to demand the capital punishment for Tarek Yatim and has more than 4000 “likes” today, it has pictures like this one.

The picture says: “I demand the capital punishment/execution of Tarek Yatim.” The picture has a stamp that wrongly says the “Lebanese people”

Another shocking tweet states the following:

Another persons thinks that the capital punishment isn’t enough and that Tarek Yatim should be tortured!

Tarek Yatim should be tortured according to this person.
Tarek Yatim should be tortured according to this person.

Capital Punishment in Lebanon. 

In Lebanon, the capital punishment is de facto law but it is currently put on a hiatus. No capital punishment were performed since 2004. I personally believe a country has better ethics when it abolishes capital punishment. A lot of countries have historically abandoned this practise and every year more countries do the same. Life imprisonment – putting people in prisons until their death – is present in numerous nations, and it is often the highest legal punishment of accused persons.

Supporting the capital punishment shouldn’t let their advocators to call for an immediate execution. This reaction is irrational and emotive. Even capital punishment should be done through the basis of fair trials. While the video shows exactly how the killer attacked his victim, it is not our role to demand the capital punishment. I believe that we can react and call for justice, but it is the role of judges and courts to determine Tarek Yatim punishment. It is not our role to be “vigilantes” and “do justice” on our own, as a commenter said here :

Anonymous commenter plans about vigilantism.
Anonymous commenter plans about vigilantism.

I wonder if he’s serious about “making things fair”…

Capital punishment is useless. 

Whether you think a killer “deserves” the capital punishment, the practise is proven to be useless. Some pro-capital punishment believe that executing a person “deter” homicides and therefore are useful. The execution is some kind of a lesson for future criminals. This belief is flawed. Here’s an exemple.

Murder rates in states with and without the death penalty.
source: Amnesty International USA website.

This data proves that states in USA with death penalty don’t have lower death ratios. The presence of death penalty is therefore useless in deterrence.

Lebanon shouldn’t restart the executions. We haven’t executed a single person since 2004, let’s keep it this way. The accused that are condemned to the death penalty should be given other sentences.

Ali Bazzal’s Execution and his family response. [Opinion]

A Lebanese policemen has been executed by Jabhat el Nusra. May Ali Bazzal rest in peace.

One could understand the anger and the frustration of the families, their impatience with the government that is slowly, barely acting. But a family can’t use force and violence and act as it will go unpunished.

Rana Fliti and Ali Bazzal and their daughter Maram (Photo courtesy of Rana Fliti) –

A family can’t demand the execution of other people because their sons has been executed, as much as they are frustrated. A family can’t decide on its own to block international aid to refugees. This is not the answer for your child vile execution.

A family can’t decide to kidnap others people. Yes, the families are on the good side of the fight, but how do you expect the terrorists to respond if not by executing more Lebanese soldiers and policemen. You don’t respond to execution with executions.

Yes, the state is useless here, and I stand with every civil, peaceful act they used, road-blocking, pressure on the government, etc. They have every right to do so, but they have absolutely no right to act as vengeful blood-thirsty citizens.

We stand by the side of the families that have their sons and brothers kidnapped. Just don’t make things worse by escalating the tension already untenable for all the country.

Let the army do its job.