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Beirut port explosion justice demanded

March 9, 2023 at 12:36 pm

The United Nations General Assembly [STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images]

Thirty-eight countries at the UN Human Rights Council have demanded justice following the huge explosion in Beirut port on 4 August 2020. In a joint statement delivered by Australia on Tuesday, the signatories expressed concern over the pervasive obstruction and interference with Lebanon’s domestic investigation into the explosion that devastated a large swathe of the Lebanese capital, killed at least 218 people and wounded 7,000 others.

“Lebanon should take all necessary measures to safeguard, in law and in practice, the full independence and impartiality of the Lebanese judiciary to ensure that a swift, independent, impartial, credible and transparent investigation into the explosion is carried out,” said the signatories.

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“The joint statement issued at the Human Rights Council today confirms the world’s commitment to ensuring justice for the deadly Beirut port explosion and shows that the international community stands with victims’ families and survivors,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Aya Majzoub. “It also sends a clear message to the Lebanese authorities that their shameful efforts to impede and subvert the domestic investigation have not gone unnoticed.”

Victims’ families, survivors and the people of Lebanon deserve justice, truth and reparations, she added. “The Lebanese authorities must urgently allow the domestic inquiry to proceed without any political meddling, and ensure the investigation remains impartial at all times.”

The official investigation into the deadly explosion has been delayed for over a year.

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