Lebanese-American Organizations Condemn the Abduction and Murder of Pascal Sleiman and Hold Hezbollah Responsible

Pascal Sleiman

April 9, 2024

The Amer Foundation, The American Mideast Coalition for Democracy, and The World Council of Cedars Revolution all express vehement condemnation of the recent abduction and murder of Pascal Sleiman, a political activist and prominent resident of Jbeil, in an alarming incident that has rattled the local community and alerted the world to Hezbollah’s tactic of targeted assassinations.

Reports indicate that four armed individuals forced Sleiman from his vehicle at the Lahfad intersection as he was returning from a condolence visit. Hezbollah is strongly suspected to be behind this unlawful and heinous act.

A distressing WhatsApp voice note shared by a friend who was in direct contact with Sleiman during the kidnapping, captured the harrowing moments when Sleiman pleaded for his life, emphasizing his responsibilities towards his children and begging not to be harmed. 

We underscore the significance of this situation, especially in a country marked by political divisions. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have issued a statement attributing the incident to a car theft gang and implicating a Syrian gang in the murder of Pascal which is believed to be a falsification of the facts. We ask the US Congress to look into this and remind them that they are funding the Lebanese Army.

“I have warned several times over the past few years, and communicated to members of Congress, that helping the Lebanese people to establish a free zone covering Mount Lebanon, Beirut and the north of the country is absolutely necessary. This would be an area where only the Lebanese Army and police-vetted units would ensure security and protect the population,” said Dr Walid Phares, senior advisor to AMCD, and Foreign Policy Expert in Washington. “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 precisely orders the disarming of all militias including Hezbollah. That resolution can be applied to some areas of Lebanon where the Iranian militias should withdraw. The Lebanese populations have a full right under international law to demand a free zone and eventually to disarm the militias. The terror assassinations in Lebanon must end through the formation of a freedom zone.” 

[The] LAF should not run with the gang/car theft story as the official statement in the killing of Pascal Sleiman. It does not make sense, and the Lebanese people aren’t stupid,” wrote Hanin Ghaddar, Friedman Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute on X. “Also, LF supporters are making a huge mistake in targeting Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are victims of the same terrorist group (Hezbollah) that is responsible for killing both Lebanese and Syrians. LF leadership is responsible for channeling this anger toward serious political rhetoric/action. Don’t fall into Hezbollah’s trap.”

“Hasan Nasrallah must be brought to justice. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization on the US list and that of many other countries ” said Sami El-Khoury President of the World Maronite Union

“Given Hezbollah’s control over Lebanon and the LAF’s alignment with them, it is evident that Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, and their backers in Tehran bear criminal responsibility for this heinous assassination,” asserted John Hajjar, President of the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy. “They must all face justice.”

Pascal Sleiman and his family

“I hope more members of Congress like Representative Darrell Issa clearly define what Hezbollah has done today in Lebanon as an act of terror against the free people across Lebanon,” wrote Human Rights Activist and “Save Jamshid Sharmahd” Campaign President Gazelle Sharmahd on X. “Congress must take action to end the rule of terror and the brave people of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan… All of the Middle East and beyond should stand shoulder to shoulder with EVERY single freedom fighter!

As part of the Lebanese diaspora in the US who have experienced firsthand the impact of the lack of government in Lebanon, we stress the critical need for a sovereign government to safeguard the Lebanese people. This killing serves as a stark reminder of how the militias’ destabilizing activities are pushing the country toward further turmoil and endangering the lives of innocent civilians.

“We consider Hezbollah to be fully responsible for the killing as they defied UNSCR 1559 and proceeded on to the assassination of Lebanese civilians,” said Tom Harb Co-Chair of American Mideast Coalition for Democracy. “We demand Hezbollah be fully disarmed,”

“What is taking place in Lebanon is not acceptable. There is no security whatsoever and the Lebanese Army seems to be under the complete control of Hezbollah,” added Joe Baini, President of World Council of the Cedars Revolution. 

During this challenging period, we stand in solidarity with the family of Pascal Sleiman, reiterating our commitment to advocating for peace, security, and justice in the region. We call upon all individuals and organizations to unite in condemning such acts of violence and working towards a stable and prosperous future for Lebanon.

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