September 24, 2021

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UN Human Rights Council calls for inquiry into Beirut port explosion

UN Human Rights Council calls for inquiry into Beirut port explosion

145 Lebanese and international human rights organizations called on the families of the victims of the Beirut port blast and the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday. .

On August 4, 2020, a large explosion in the port of Beirut caused a large amount of ammonium nitrate to be stored without preventive measures, killing at least 214 people and injuring more than 6,500. Port and surroundings in the capital. It was later revealed that officials at various levels of politics, security and the judiciary were aware of the dangers of storing this material and did nothing.

In a joint letter, the signatories, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, called for “the establishment of an independent and impartial international inquiry, similar to the one-year fact-finding mission.”

Aya Majjoub, a Lebanese researcher with Human Rights Watch, said the families of the victims and survivors were “appealing again to the Human Rights Council to establish an immediate inquiry into the Lebanese government’s failure to protect their rights.” “More than a year after the blast, Lebanese authorities have been obstructing, delaying and undermining local investigations,” he said.

Since the eruption, Lebanon has rejected calls for an international inquiry. French and American investigators participated freely in the initial investigations.

Last June, representatives of 115 organizations and the families of victims and survivors sent a similar message.

In the wake of the trial against current and former political and security officials, Judge Tariq Bitter has faced allegations of “politicization” of key political forces led by Hezbollah, including the most important political and military force, and a group of former leaders of the government, including the leader of the future movement, Chad Hariri. After the allegations against former Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

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In recent months, parliament has refused to remove the security of three lawmakers who held ministerial posts for an investigation into the Beirut port. Former Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, the director of public security, has refused to allow Bithar to investigate.

Prayers for the souls of the victims of the first anniversary of the Beirut Harbor Eruption (AB)

On August 26, al-Fitr signed a sapona on Diab for refusing to attend a trial session. 24 hours before the next hearing on September 20, he assigned security forces to bring Diape to his department at the Palace of Justice.

Yesterday, Pitar again issued a new summons to Diab, but local state media reported that Diab went to the US for a family visit after the new government was formed, meaning he would not attend the next trial session.

In a move that has provoked political pressure, observers fear that in December, political pressure will mount against Diab and his three former ministers to oust his predecessor, Judge Fadi Sawan, after his request. They are pre-represented.

He condemned the attempt by political leaders to “question the impartiality” of Bidar and accused him of being “politicized”. “The failure of the local investigation to ensure accountability for the culture of impunity for officers who have long been in Lebanon is clearly demonstrated,” he stressed.

“The disruption of victims’ efforts to find out the truth and seek justice by shameful officials strengthens the need for an international inquiry into the failure to protect the right to life of the Lebanese state.”