Beirut Port explosion … Delayed investigations exacerbate the tragedy of the victims’ families (report)

The devastation caused by the explosion of the Beirut port continues to bear witness to the disaster that befell the Lebanese capital more than six months ago, while the suffering of the families of the victims is exacerbating, in light of the failure to complete investigations into the causes and causes of this explosion.

17.02.2021

WordPress.com

More than 6 months have passed since the disaster, and the families of the victims are still waiting for the truth of the explosion to be revealed

  • Human Rights Watch accused Lebanese officials of inaction and renewed its call for an independent international investigation
  • The families of the victims have submitted 1,400 judicial complaints through the Beirut Bar Association in order to preserve their personal rights The devastation caused by the explosion of the Beirut port continues to bear witness to the disaster that befell the Lebanese capital more than six months ago, while the suffering of the families of the victims is exacerbating, in light of the failure to complete investigations into the causes and causes of this explosion. August 4, 2020, was the fateful day for the Lebanese capital, which witnessed the largest explosion in its history, and since that day, the tears of the families of two hundred dead, as well as thousands of wounded, have not dried up. Pain and anguish accompany the families of the victims in their diaries, and with all the details of their lives that have been turned upside down, and all they ask is to uncover the truth of the bombing and to hold the perpetrators accountable, according to what they told Anadolu Agency. According to preliminary official estimates, the port explosion occurred in Ward 12, which the authorities say contained about 2,750 tons of high explosive “ammonium nitrate”, which had been confiscated from a ship and stored since 2014. ** The investigation stopped more than a month and a half Ibrahim Hoteit, a spokesman for the victims’ families, said, “The minimum that should happen is to know the truth, and things should not remain as vague as they are now.” Ibrahim, the brother of one of the victims (Tharwat Hoteit), who was working with the Civil Defense inside the port, and died while trying to extinguish the fires that started before the explosion. Ibrahim added, “All we are asking for is the completion of investigations and revealing the truth, a mercy for the tears of orphans and mothers’ heartburn, “noting that” the suffering of families who have lost their loved ones increases and grows day after day. ” Regarding the delay in completing the investigations, Ibrahim expressed “the surprise and surprise of the people that the investigations have stopped for more than a month and a half without justification.” For its part, the “Human Rights Watch” human rights organization, on February 3, accused the Lebanese authorities of “inaction,” saying that “the attempts of political leaders to stop the investigation reinforce the need for an independent international investigation.” ** Heartburn in our hearts “More than 6 months of anguish and pain, and we have not achieved anything yet, burning is still in our hearts and our tears have not dried up,” said Tharwat Nour al-Din, sister of a captain in the Lebanese army (Ayman Nour al-Din) who died as a result of the explosion. She added to Anadolu Agency, “They stole our laughter and support (…). They did not just kill Ayman, but rather all of his family members (morally). We missed him and we cannot sleep. The victims’ families are suffering daily.” She explained that “her brother was in his military service center inside the port, and when the fire broke out (which preceded the explosion), he went to help the civil defense to extinguish it, and the disaster struck.” And she demanded “a transparent investigation because we will not remain silent before the criminals are held accountable, and we will know who brought these materials to the port. This is our goal and no tears will dry up for us before that.” ** The security services knew The suffering of Tharwat, also lived by young William Nun, blamed the state for the disaster that claimed the life of his brother (Joe Nun), a member of the Beirut Fire Brigade. William told Anadolu Agency: “We were surprised at how they sent my brother and his friends (firefighters) to extinguish the fire, while all the security services knew that Ward 12 contains high explosive nitrate.” He added, “Our suffering is great, but our goal is to reach justice that relieves a little from the heartburn of the parents.” William, who visited with the delegation of the victims’ families more than once, spoke to the judicial investigator, Judge Fadi Sawan, about “obstruction and political pressure in this file.” He also referred to “an international failure in terms of not expediting the delivery of satellite images to the Lebanese judiciary, especially as they serve the course of investigations.” On December 10, the Supreme Judicial Council said that the judicial investigator sent an international cooperation request to the United Nations. In order to obtain any aerial photos captured by satellites of any of the countries belonging to it and returning on August 4, 2020, or any information about an air or sea warfare movement monitored by the international forces operating in southern Lebanon, “UNIFIL”, with its military radars. ** 1,400 legal complaints Through the Beirut Bar Association, 1,400 judicial complaints were filed by the families of the victims and those who were physically or financially harmed, through the prosecutor’s office in the Bar, which volunteered to preserve the personal rights of these people. Lawyer Shukri Haddad, a member of the union’s prosecutor’s office, told Anadolu Agency that “investigations are proceeding according to three tracks.” He explained: “The first track is about how the explosive materials reached the port of Beirut and the real owner knows them, the second is related to the reasons that led to the stay of nitrates for 7 years in the port, and the third revolves around the act that led to the detonation of these materials.” Haddad pointed out that “the Bar Association is asking for prosecution against any person or official who has a role in any of the three tracks.” Regarding the delay of the investigations and their suspension (on December 17) for a period of more than a month and a half, Haddad pointed out that this resulted from the request submitted against the judicial investigator Fadi Sawan to transfer the case to another judge, as well as the health conditions and the accompanying total closure in the country due to Corona . On December 10, 2020, the judicial investigator, Sawan, charged the caretaker prime minister, Hassan Diab, and 3 former ministers with charges of “negligence”. However, days after the accusation, two of the three ministers, Ghazi Zuaiter, and Ali Hassan Khalil (currently two parliamentarians) asked the Criminal Court of Cassation to transfer the case to another judge, after accusing Sawan of violating the constitution by alleging against them. After suspending the investigations since December 17, the official Lebanese agency stated on February 8 that the judicial investigator would resume his investigations, and that he had set dates for the interrogation of a number of defendants and witnesses.

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