The self-proclaimed assassins of Lebanese journalist Gibran Tueni boasted in a statement that they had broken his pen. How mistaken they are - the anti-Syrian views he expressed in the pages of his Beirut newspaper, An-Nahar, were not his alone. And his murder Monday shouldn't keep other Lebanese from demanding their rights to live freely, without interference from Syria, its agents and provocateurs. Not if Mr. Tueni is the example.
The 48-year-old publisher had long protested Syria's military occupation of his home country, which began in the midst of the Lebanese civil war three decades ago. He continued his sharp attacks, even as prominent Lebanese, beginning with former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, were killed in one targeted car bombing after another this year. Mr. Hariri's murder in February led to large protests that forced Syria to remove its military from Lebanon in the spring and ushered in a new parliament dominated by Syrian opponents. After his name reportedly appeared on a hit list this summer, Mr. Tueni sought refuge in Paris, but his anti-Syrian columns didn't stop. In October, he publicly excoriated Damascus as a corrupt regime. Mr. Tueni dared to return to Beirut, and it cost him his life this week.