Human Rights Watch Is Demanding An International Probe Into Beirut Blast

Human Rights Watch Calls For International Probe Into Beirut Blast

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called in a report on Wednesday for the establishment of an international investigation into the Beirut Port Explosion.

United Nations Human Rights Council member states should conduct “an international, independent, and impartial investigative mission, such as a one-year fact-finding mission,” into the August 4th blast, HRW quoted Lebanese and international rights groups, survivors, and families of the victims as saying in a joint letter.

The call echoes that of June when 115 rights groups, survivors, and families of Beirut Blast victims issued a letter calling for an international probe into the deadly incident.

This comes more than a year after the Beirut Explosion destroyed Beirut and killed more than 200 people, injured thousands, and displaced a great number of the Lebanese capital’s residents.

“… More than a year after the explosion, Lebanese leaders continue to obstruct, delay, and undermine the domestic investigation,” Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at HRW, said in the report.

Among other reasons for an international investigation, the report cited obstructions facing the local investigation headed by Judge Tarek Bitar, such as charged officials refusing to show up for summons and maintaining their immunities despite having been charged.

“The failures of the domestic investigation to ensure accountability dramatically illustrates the larger culture of impunity for officials that has long been the case in Lebanon,” the report said.

Notably, a day prior to HRW’s renewed demand for an international probe, it was revealed that former Prime Minister Hassan Diab had left Lebanon despite being due for an upcoming questioning session as a defendant with Judge Bitar.

Diab, who was charged in relation to the explosion last year, had previously refused to comply with Bitar’s summons for questioning.

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