Troops Shoot Dead Charbel Rahme at Madfoun army checkpoint

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Picture from NYTimes

The law is clear when it comes to failing to stop at an army checkpoint. The soldiers must fire in the air at first as a warning, then at the car and the tires and LAST if the car fails to stop they can fire at the driver. If it happens that the driver fired at the soldiers at first, then they are allowed to fire back and kill him.

Having said that, the killing of Charbel Rahme at the Madfoun army checkpoint yesterday seems reckless to me as it is impossible to get past this checkpoint. in fact, you have to zigzag between concrete blocks before and after it and there’s a soldier at the end of the checkpoint with spikes ready to deploy if someone is trying to run away.

I will not draw any conclusions before the official report is out, but according to most media reports, the driver did not shoot at the army and his car hit a concrete block and stopped. The question remains whether he was killed before his car crashed or after. He was 38 and died immediately as the gunshot struck his head.

I am not trying to defend the guy by any means, as he definitely was hiding guns or drugs or whatever in his car to flee the checkpoint, but the army can’t just go around and shoot people dead, especially after what happened with Sheikh Abdel Wahed and his companion in Halba. I mean imagine you are going fast and your brakes fail when nearing the checkpoint, you get a bullet in the head?

I sure do not envy army men these days as they are facing a lot of pressure given how tense the situation is, but the solution is quite simple: Set up decent checkpoints and train the soldiers and officers to stop vehicles without having to kill the driver. After all, what good is this guy if he’s dead? You can’t investigate with a dead man now can you?

20 thoughts on “Troops Shoot Dead Charbel Rahme at Madfoun army checkpoint

  1. Aziz

    Set up decent checkpoints and train the soldiers and officers to stop vehicles without having to kill the driver???
    so now ur telling me he was surprised by the madfoun checkpoint location since it has been there for
    ONLY 20 years and he didn’t has the chance to see them!!
    i don’t know the real story but please don’t come blaming the army!!

    passing a checkpoint with shotguns is not acceptable!!even if it was a cheikh or a priest or even god!!(aslan why do a cheikh would have so many bodyguards and so many guns!!) bref..

    passing a stable checkpoint (or a moving one) even it is more ridiculous with the stable one, without stopping is inacceptable and in any means i would not accept even trying to defend the stupid asses they are doing it knowing the danger of the situation and stress put on the army’s heads!!
    please guys wake up! you are not allowed to defend the army whenever you like and throw stupid accusations the next day!!

    and as you mentionned sir in the begininig
    “The law is clear when it comes to failing to stop at an army checkpoint. The soldiers must fire in the air at first as a warning, then at the car and the tires and LAST if the car fails to stop they can fire at the driver. If it happens that the driver fired at the soldiers at first, then they are allowed to fire back and kill him.”

    i surely guess the soldiers are very well trained and they are just applying the law that everyone is aware of.

    Reply
    1. Najib Post author

      Aziz,
      I was not talking about the Madfoun specifically here but about the incident with the Sheikh. The part about training the army men is meant for Madfoun since there’s no way in hell you can escape the checkpoint with all the concrete walls and spikes.

      And if you read my whole post, I did not blame the army and definitely did not defend the guy. All I am saying is that this guy may have been dangerous but others could have bad brakes as simple as that. My point is don’t shoot to kill because it’s no use specially if you wanna investigate why he fled the checkpoint. What if it’s a guy who just had a heart attack and sped across the checkpoint? what if an idiot was speeding and could not stop the car? Again shooting to kill is in my opinion never a good option.

      “i surely guess the soldiers are very well trained and they are just applying the law that everyone is aware of.”

      Is that why 22 were arrested over the Sheikh shooting?

      Reply
    1. Najib Post author

      The guy shot had no political affiliation whatsoever. His brother was in the army as well. What I am trying to say is the army should be the one calming things down and not causing more tensions with such unfortunate accidents.

      Reply
  2. Aziz

    22 were arrested for political reasons and you know better :)
    i understand your concern with bad brakes and unintentional accidents whatsoever but arriving while speeding is a story and stopping and be asked to pull over and not applying is another story and believe me they deal with both cases very well.
    it is the army man it not a second chance NGO. the rules are very clear!! 22 were arrested ; to begin with i find it very unjust to arrest them and very cheap from all the polititians not to defend them BUT the situation and the “ta2ifiyyeh” is burning up there so tol3o henne bi rass el madfa3…again bref..:)

    the army is an army it’s not a psycological association to calm things down!! if you have ever been ther you would know better. what if he has explosions and would explose the whole checkpoint!! what if i don’t know he wants to kill as many soldiers as possible!! you think the best way is to sit down with him and to convince him not to do so!?
    what i’m saying the rules are there!! you all know them please for once try to work throughout the rules (i know we are not used to) but if it’s your choice to play it your way don’t come blaming the army later for doing what they had to do.

    Reply
    1. Najib Post author

      Aziz,
      That’s your opinion and not what the army said. The Sheikh did not shoot at anyone apparently and should not have been shot at or asked to come down off the car. Are you doubting the army decisions now? There are no politics involved when it comes to army check points. Either you are a regular thug or a terrorist or a political leader, there are laws army soldiers have to abide by.

      The army is the one that protects us and prevent civil wars. Nothing psychological about that.

      “What if he has explosions and would explose the whole checkpoint!! what if i don’t know he wants to kill as many soldiers as possible!! you think the best way is to sit down with him and to convince him not to do so!?”

      If that’s the case, he would be stupid not to explode the car before and if the army is worried about such attacks (which never happened so far), then maybe they should change the rules about check points :-)

      Like I said, there’s nothing political if everyone abides by the rules. If the army soldiers are at fault, they should be judged. We can’t just defend them everytime they shoot someone in the head. Plain and simple.

      Reply
  3. The Razor

    Someone started shooting from the Sheikh’s car. the Sheikh tried to hit a soldier and drove over the checkpoint.

    Rahme did not have any break problems. Soldiers shot in the air first.

    With the tension in Lebanon now, the Army has orders to apply a tight grip and not being tolerant.

    Lebanese have become a bunch of thugs for the last couple of years. I had an incident in the past where a guy who hit my car and ran did not stop at the checkpoint and when I tried to make them stop him he passed it. I am glad that the Army is shooting at people like that.

    Death is sad but whoever plays with fire burns his hands.

    Reply
    1. Rosie

      There are so many thugs because the young are not given any direction or hope for the future!
      Don’t try to condone what the Lebanese army has done, how dare they take someones life so cheaply, under no circumstance other than pure self defence should someone be shot in the head!
      What has Lebanon come to? Now after all these years they decide they want to protect the country? The country needs protection from its self!
      How very sad and how very disgusting!
      HOW DARE THEY!!!!

      Reply
      1. Paulette

        the army have been protecting this country since 1989 every now and then we are on a break of a new civil war and the army are protecting us from it , political parties want to show that the army is killing ppl for no valid reason , but as we are seeing with every story we are blaming the army for there are hidden part

        Reply
  4. Jeff

    You guys are all sectarian! Every comment that comes out of your beaks is tainted! There should be no army “check points” in Bchari or anywhere else! The ISF should handle internal matters. Everything so so fucked up in this wretched country. My simple question to you informed people: Why was the need for that “checkpoint” in the mountains? Why not call for ahead for another unit to stop the car? Why not set spikes? Why not give chase? Why so bloody trigger happy and no respect for life?….and…etc…etc…

    Reply
    1. The Razor

      Jeff, I believe you are misinformed, plus you are paranoiac. Who said something about Becharre, and who said the checkpoint where the incident happened was in Becharre?

      The Army is needed sometimes because what is happening in Lebanon is not a conventional crime, but militia and terrorist crimes, the military council decides which armed forces should be doing what and where based on their respective qualifications.

      Other countries have special police forces trained for concerted operations. In Lebanon, the only special force having an efficient concerted operation training is the Lebanese Army.

      Reply
      1. Jeff

        In your opinion then the killing is justified? Militia & terrorist crimes eh? I don’t want to get into politics. The whole country and government is controlled by criminals and terrorists. Stop the charade about special forces dude.Which civilize country has its army man checkpoints in the cities?

        Reply
  5. anony

    Jeff what check points in Bchari are you talking about man? If this guy was shot in Bchare by the army, things would have gone next level by now. He was shot in Madfoun. Najib has a point, it is impossible to flee the Madfoun check point. If anyone makes an attempt, the army has more than enough time to blow all four tires but I still don’t like to make assumptions before investigations are done, we all don’t know the 100% accurate story behind this. Also he did not have any weapons or drugs but he was wanted so he tried to avoid being arrested.

    Reply
  6. Jeff

    Sorry but I am not aware of the geography… Madfoon or Ballout; my point still stands. Screw the drugs and the guns. the car could have been stopped by other means. It was not the end of the world. Lebanese should value everyone’s life. PERIOD!

    Reply
  7. Wael

    for the guy who’s saying that shooting started from Sheikh’s car… dud i c any guns in the reports? do u believe that if there were guns the army will allow the bodyguard who was still alive to take them be4 the media comes?
    so be4 u judge ppl… think and stop spreading rumors..
    however, we all know how Samer Hanna died.. and how the killer is still free!
    and about this crime, the guy wasn’t killed after he his accident… he was killed by a shot in his head!… it means be4 his accident!

    Reply
  8. Raz

    Well ive been told that they blew his tires then he continued straight so they shooted in the air then on his car then in him, he was already like 200m far

    Reply
  9. Samazio

    If an accident like this happen every day,i agree with the shooting.But as it doesn’t happen more often,they could easily called ” maghawir l ba7er” in Amchit to block the road and stop the guy !!

    Reply
  10. HateThis

    So you’re saying he was carrying guns in his car, and he didn’t stop at the checkpoint.
    I’m sorry but sounds like a valid reason to shoot.
    Stop criticizing the army.

    Reply

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