Amnesty & Human Rights Watch Are Calling For A UN Inquiry Into Beirut Port Blast

Human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to quickly approve a resolution to establish an independent investigation into the Beirut port explosion.

The organizations made this call due to concerns that the Lebanese authorities are attempting to block the pursuit of justice in the case.

Aya Majzoub, Amnesty International’s Lebanon researcher, stated in a joint statement, “It is patently clear that the Lebanese authorities are determined to obstruct justice.”

This concern was highlighted by the recent actions of Lebanon’s top prosecutor, Judge Ghassan Oueidat, after his public spat with Judge Tarek Bitar.

This call for an impartial fact-finding mission from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International comes after a massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, killing 244 people, injuring thousands, and causing widespread destruction.

The blast was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the port for several years.

The incident has raised serious questions about government negligence and corruption, as well as the lack of proper safety measures.

The Lebanese government has yet to provide a full and transparent account of the events leading up to the explosion and has failed to hold those responsible accountable.

The continued obstruction of Judge Tarek Bitar, who was leading the investigation, has further cast doubts on the integrity of the investigation.

The human rights organizations believe that an independent and impartial fact-finding mission is essential to uncover the truth and ensure accountability for the victims and their families.

The call for a UN resolution is a step towards ensuring that the Lebanese government is held accountable for its actions and that the investigation remains free from political influence.

Several MPs along with the families of the victims have been calling for an international investigation into the Beirut Port blast, citing concerns about a fair investigation locally.

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