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.

https://www.facebook.com/1676264615939751/photos/pb.1676264615939751.-2207520000.1437304157./1676282725937940/?type=1&theater

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.

Lina Khattab, a Palestinian journalism student and activist, has been freed from Israeli prison.

Lina Khattab is a Palestinian journalism student and activist from the West Bank, Palestine, she has just been freed after 6 months in an Israeli Prison.

The IDF soldiers had kidnapped Lina Khattab on the 13th of December 2014, she was participating in a nonviolent protest to mark the 47th anniversary of PFLP, the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and to protest the numerous political prisoners jailed up in Israeli prisons.

IMEMC, the International Middle East Media Center has reported that she was mistreated and faced very difficult situations after her arrest and during her interrogation.

To have a strong voice against Israel in the West Bank is enough for the Israeli authorities to jail persons. Standing against apartheid, injustice, racism and the violations of Palestinian rights are crimes for Israel.

Her release doesn’t dwarf the violations of Israel against Palestinians, the Middle East Eye Monitor reports that for the last 48 years, 5 Palestinian children were arrested every day

Data provided by the Israeli military and the UN has revealed that since martial law was imposed on the occupied West Bank in 1967, around 95,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israel, an average of more than 5 children per day. Almost 60,000 are believed to have been subjected to some form of physical abuse whilst in detention.

The details were revealed this week in a report submitted by rights group Military Court Watch(MCW) to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention were included in the report.”

Despite this alarming data, the United Nations dropped Israel from the annual list of countries that violate children’s rights. Israel not only jails up to 5 kids per day, the IDF has killed more than 500 children during last Gaza onslaught in 2014.

Lina Khattab has been freed, but many Palestinians remain detained, very often without charge or trial, Khader Adnan, starving himself for Freedom, is one of them.

To end this post in a happy note, here are some joyful pictures of Lina Khattab release from the International Solidarity movement of Palestine (ISM).

The moment of her release, Lina runs towards her family and friends.
The moment of her release, Lina runs towards her family and friends.
Lina Khattab in the arms of friends and family.

The video of her release.