End Culture of Impunity
(Beirut) – Member states at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council should establish an international, independent, and impartial investigative mission, such as a one-year fact-finding mission, into the Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020, 53 Lebanese, regional, and international rights groups and individuals, as well as 62 survivors and families of the victims and firefighters said today in a joint letter.
In the aftermath of the blast, Lebanese officials vowed to investigate swiftly and transparently. However, the 10 months since the tragedy have been marked by little more than obstruction, evasion, and delay. Human Rights Watch has documented many flaws in the domestic investigation that make it incapable of credibly delivering justice, including flagrant political interference, immunity for high-level political officials, lack of respect for fair trial standards, and due process violations.
“The Lebanese authorities have had over 10 months to demonstrate that they are willing and capable of conducting a credible investigation into the catastrophic Beirut Blast, but they have failed on all accounts,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Human Rights Council members should establish an international, independent probe into the causes and responsibility for the blast, heeding the calls of the victims’ families and the Lebanese public for accountability.”
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