Two years after Beirut port blast back on July 4, 2020, the relatives of the victims are calling for justice. That’s while the exhausting investigation has proved disappointing.
The relatives of the over 200 victims of the Beirut port blast have endured a long process of two years described by some as passing like two centuries. The battle for truth may be gaining momentum, nevertheless, as fresh legal lawsuits brought by outside parties coincide with the obstruction of the Lebanese probe.
Over 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonated in a port storage on the eve of an August day in 2020. Known as the unprecedented non-nuclear blast in the history of mankind considering size and vastitude, the disaster was triggered by the majestic blast.
Thousands of those who have lost loved ones in the blast have steadfastly demanded retribution since then. Injuries to over 7,000 persons and extensive neighborhood destruction are also the lingering consequence.
As hundreds gathered in the port on the anniversary if the lost ones, a significant portion of Beirut’s massive grain silos that had been destroyed by the explosion fell down. The silos have to be preserved, according to the relatives of the dead, as a reminder of an explosion they claim was brought on by systemic fraud and poor management.
The mounting evidence clearly implies that senior administrative authorities and members of the security services were aware of the danger posed by the ammonium nitrate storage. Investigations have challenged the relationships between authorities and offshore commerce as well. They disputed the assertions made by the firms responsible for transporting the dangerous material.
But persistent political meddling has prevented Lebanon’s probe from moving forward. During the two years, dozens of requests for the dismissal of the judges overseeing the probe were submitted by Lebanese lawmakers.
Beirut Blast Investigation Failures
Judge Fadi Sawan, who was fired less than a year after port blast, was the judge in question when the disagreements began. The probe has been on hold since December of last year as a consequence of the same circumstances and legal difficulties that his replacement, Judge Tarek Bitar, has had to deal with. Bitar had filed indictments for a number of administrative figure, but the security services failed to execute them.
The Swiss-based organization “Accountability Now” filed a legal lawsuit in Washington in the middle of July since there is no indication that the internal probe would advance anytime soon.
In addition to filing the complaint in the hopes of obtaining fresh evidence, it is requesting $250 million in compensation for the survivors. These potential obtained facts could advance the Lebanese inquiry as well as other foreign inquiries.
The U.N. Human Rights Council has also been under pressure from victim’s relatives to launch an international investigation. The families demonstrated outside the French embassy in Lebanese capital, calling on Paris to support an independent probe.
Human Rights Watch researcher Aya Majzoub stated that France has obstructed attempts to establish an independent international probe for political purposes while speaking alongside protesters. Emmanuel Macron is the obstacle to submitting a proposal to the HRC because he is hesitant to take the initiative. Given its historical connections to Lebanon, the majority of member nations turn to France for the measure to kick off.
The disaster, which is generally blamed on the incompetence and poor management of Lebanese officials, horrified a nation already suffering from an extraordinary financial downturn. According to the specialists, the Beirut blast and its consequences have focused attention on structural issues with careless governance and pervasive corruption. Lebanon has a long way to go survival.