The families and friends of Beirut blast victims have taken down to the street full of rage to protest the abrupt decision to remove Judge Fadi Sawan from the Beirut Port explosion investigation.
After over 6 months since the blast, the Criminal Court of Cassation headed by Judge Jamal Al-Hajjar decided to transfer the case from Judge Sawan to another judge.
The excuse for his removal was that his home in Achrafieh was partially damaged by the blast, making him too close to the case.
However, the real reason as the public knows it is that Judge Sawan had pledged to get to the bottom of this tragic case, stopping at “no red lines.”
Judge Sawan was investigating politicians, including the caretaker prime minister and former ministers, which propelled the officials to intervene, hindering his mission to dig out the truth and bring those responsible to justice.
To add to the outrageous move, Lebanon’s public prosecutor was asked to release two officials who he had charged in August: Head of Beirut Port Authority Hassan Kraytem and Head of Safety and Security at the port Mohammad Ziad Al-Awf.
Broken, grieving, hopeless, and rightfully infuriated, the victims’ family members who have been waiting for closure, are back to the streets in protest.
Six months through and those in power haven’t given them any answers to why their loved ones had to suffer such tragic deaths.
People of all religious sects and social classes gathered at Beirut’s Justice Palace to express their frustration.
“We’re not against anyone, we just want justice and truth,” called a mother, who lost her son. “There will be new martyr every day, today from my house and tomorrow from yours!”
On Twitter, the hashtag “justice needs an international investigation” began trending, reflecting people’s distrust of Lebanon’s judicial system, which was now further confirmed with the removal of Judge Sawan.
Many voices from within the families of the victims expressed that they will resort to more extreme measures, including closing roads and burning tires in protest.