UN Is Ignoring Plea Letters For Evidence On Beirut Port Blast

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EPA-EFE/Wael Hamzeh

The United Nations has repeatedly ignored requests from grieving Lebanese families for information to help the official investigation into the Beirut Port Explosion.

A BBC report has revealed that the Beirut Bar Association, which is representing nearly 2,000 families and survivors, sent three separate requests to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, asking for all available satellite photos taken by member states on the day of the explosion.

The letters were addressed directly to Guterres, asking for some specific details that may aid the speed and result of the investigation.

Two things were requested by the Association:

  • All available satellite photos that were taken on the day of the Beirut Blast by member states,
  • Whether UNIFIL had checked the ship of the ammonium nitrate prior to its docking in Beirut back in 2013.

According to BBC sources, the three letters were sent on the following dates:

  • October 26th, 2020 – The first of the families letters sent by the Bar Association
  • November 19th, 2020 – A follow-up was dispatched, noting β€œIt has been more than 100 days since the blast, to date none of the member states or UNIFIL has sent any photos or information.
  • March 17th, 2021 – The third letter states: β€œSeven months have passed since the blast and five months since our letter, and unfortunately our letters remain unanswered and unacknowledged. Lebanon is a founder member of the UN and is asking for help.”

In an interview with the BBC, Aya Majzoub, Lebanon Researcher with Human Rights Watch, explained why the satellite images are vital to the investigation.

β€œSatellite imagery of the port on that day would be very important in trying to answer outstanding questions about why the explosion happened.”

Lebanon people have described the Beirut Blast as their 9/11 but no one has yet been held accountable, and an investigation into the explosion has been dogged with disputation and conflict, and internal political interference in the judiciary work.

The Beirut Blast killed over 234 people and injured over 6,000, some of whom have been maimed for life.

It is to note that Russia took the initiative to hand over its satellite images of the port, before and after the explosion, to the Lebanese government in hopes that they could be of help in the investigation.

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UN Is Ignoring Plea Letters For Evidence On Beirut Port Blast

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