Suspected murder of Lebanese activist sparks fear among protesters

Suspected murder of Lebanese activist sparks fear among protesters
Tributes have poured in for 'dedicated comrade' Abd al-Karim Abbas, who was found dead near a beach in Lebanon two days after going missing
2 min read
04 September, 2020
Abd al-Karim Abbas protested almost daily [Twitter]
A Lebanese activist who attended anti-government protests almost daily has been found dead two days after he went missing on his way to work, local media reported on Friday.

Abd al-Karim Abbas, 33, was confirmed missing on Thursday and his picture was circulated by security forces.

Local reports said that Abbas was found with a bullet in his head near the beach in Khaldeh, south of Beirut, on Friday. However the circumstances around his death remain unclear.

Abbas' death sent shockwaves across the country, sparking fears among that figures in the recent protest movement were being targeted with executions, as they have been in Iraq.

Abbas, a Shia supporter of the communist party, had been active in the wave of anti-government demonstrations in recent months, attending protests almost daily.

Friends of Abbas claimed on Twitter that he was due to meet them but cancelled, citing an "emergency".

Other signs generated speculation that he committed suicide. His last post on Facebook read: "When we die we will be lifted onto shoulders".

A lawyer following up the case on behalf of Abbas' family told Annahar: "according to our information, the incident is purely criminal in character and has absolutely no political motives."

Tributes to Abbas poured onto social media, including many pictures and videos of the activist attending demonstrations.

Many honoured Abbas for his tireless struggle against sectarianism and corruption in Lebanon, as well as his relief efforts following the coronavirus pandemic and the Beirut explosion.

"Today we say goodbye to a dedicated comrade, always chanting in front of the central bank. You fought to lift the injustice against you and those like you from the oppressed and forgotten class in this country," protest group Wa'y posted on Facebook.

A vigil had been organised for Abbas in front of the central bank, where he would often demonstrate, on Friday evening.

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