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Gibran Tueni: Defender of Lebanese Free Press


As the publisher of the respected Arabic language daily An-Nahar, Gebran Tueni was a long-time, outspoken critic of Syrian interference in Lebanon.

During Lebanon's 15-year-long civil war he was shot and kidnapped. An-Nahar's offices were bombed and Mr. Tueni went into self-imposed exile for two years. But he said these experiences only reinforced his strong belief in the media's responsibility to the people, and the importance of a free press.

After former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a truck bomb attack last February, and suspicions turned to Syrian involvement in the killing, Mr. Tueni became an even louder voice for an end to Syrian domination over Lebanon. He was elected to parliament in elections last May.

Mr. Tueni once wrote in an article that he, as a Lebanese journalist, will write "until the last drop of blood in my pen and ink in my heart." Mr. Tueni was 48 years old.

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