Lebanese Authorities Obstruct Domestic Investigation into Beirut Explosion

Global Rights Watch (GRW), along with 10 Lebanese and international organizations, call on the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to put forward a resolution at the upcoming council session in September 2022 that would dispatch, without delay, an independent and impartial fact-finding mission for the August 4, 2020, Beirut explosion.

The Lebanese authorities have repeatedly obstructed the course of the domestic investigation into the explosion by shielding politicians and officials implicated in the explosion from questioning, prosecution, and arrest, the organizations said in a joint statement.

Two years on, the domestic investigation has stagnated with no progress sight. The  explosion at Beirut’s Port was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in global history. The explosion sent shockwaves through the city, killing at least 220 people, wounding over 7,000, and causing extensive property damage.

The United Nations Human Rights Council should pass a resolution at its September 2022 session to create an impartial fact-finding mission into the Beirut port explosion, the 11 human rights groups said.

The organizations have documented a range of procedural and systemic flaws in the domestic investigation, including flagrant political interference, immunity for high-level political officials, lack of respect for the fair trial standards, and due process violations.

“After two years of the failure of the domestic investigation, we call for an independent and impartial fact-finding mission to investigate the Beirut Port explosion,” the joint statement reads.

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