On Tuesday, 50 Lebanese, regional and international human rights organizations called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish an international mission to investigate the explosion that hit the port of Beirut on the fourth of last August.
This came in a joint letter addressed to the Council and signed by these organizations, including Amnesty International, in addition to 62 survivors and families of the victims of the explosion.
The signatories to the letter, published by Amnesty International, called on the council to “establish an international, independent and impartial investigation mission, such as a one-year fact-finding mission, to investigate the explosion in the port of Beirut.”
The organizations urged, “to support this initiative by adopting a resolution to establish such a mission in the Human Rights Council.”
The letter requested, “An investigation into whether there were failures in the duty to protect the right to life that led to the explosion in the port of Beirut, and whether there were failures to ensure safe storage or removal of a large amount of highly flammable and explosive materials and failures to conduct investigations.”
In addition to Amnesty, among other signatories to the letter are Human Rights Watch, the Project on Middle East Democracy, the Gulf Center for Human Rights, and the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights. The Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies, and the Lebanese Center for Human Rights.
On August 4, 2020, a huge explosion occurred in the port of Beirut, killing more than 200 people and wounding about 6,000 others, as well as causing massive material damage to residential buildings and commercial establishments.
According to official estimates, the explosion occurred in the 12 berth of the port, which contained about 2,750 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, which had been confiscated from a ship and stored since 2014.
The judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion case, Judge Tariq Al-Bitar, said on June 4, that the technical and technical investigation stage is nearing completion.
Lebanon is suffering from an economic crisis, as witnessed since October 2019, by popular protests accusing the ruling political elite of “corruption and incompetence” in managing the country.