Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced an ongoing push for an international probe to be conducted into the Beirut Port explosion.
In a report on Tuesday, HRW cited a letter signed by 53 Lebanese, regional, and international rights groups and individuals, as well as by 62 firefighters, survivors, and families of victims of the August 4 blast.
The letter urges member states at the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch “an international, independent, and impartial investigative mission, such as a one-year-fact-finding mission, into the Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020.”
Following the deadly blast that shredded the Port of Beirut and ravaged a large part of the Lebanese capital, the Lebanese authorities promised to carry out a swift investigation into the incident after rejecting an international probe.
The first anniversary of the explosion is right around the corner, and the process has yet to deliver justice.
“The Lebanese authorities have had over 10 months to demonstrate that they are willing and capable of conducting a credible investigation into the catastrophic Beirut Blast, but they have failed on all accounts,” said Lebanon researcher at HRW Aya Mazjoub.
“The Human Rights Council members should establish an international, independent probe into the causes and responsibility for the blast, heeding the calls of the victims’ families and the Lebanese public for accountability,” Majzoub was quoted as saying in the report.
The initial deadline set for the investigation back in August was 5 days.
“The continuing failure of the domestic process reinforces the need for an international investigation to determine the causes of the explosion and who was responsible,” the HRW report said of the prolonged local investigation.
The blast itself was not an isolated or idiosyncratic incident, Aya Majzoub said.
Rather, it was “one highly dramatic illustration of the human rights impacts of decades of corruption, incompetence, impunity, and mismanagement by Lebanon’s ruling elite.”
“Without accountability for this explosion, there is nothing stopping another disaster from happening,” Majzoub stressed.
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