Thirty-eight countries at the UN Human Rights Council on March 7, 2023, condemned the pervasive obstruction and interference with Lebanon’s domestic investigation into the August 4, 2020 explosion at Beirut’s port, Human Rights Watch and Legal Agenda said today. Lebanese authorities should urgently act to carry out badly needed judicial reforms and remove other obstacles undermining the domestic investigation into the explosion.
In a joint statement delivered by Australia before the UN Human Rights Council, the 38 states called on Lebanon to “to take all necessary measures to safeguard, in law and in practice, the full independence and impartiality of the Lebanese judiciary,” and to ensure that a “swift, independent, impartial, credible, and transparent investigation into the explosion” be carried out.
The investigation into the explosion has been suspended for over a year.
“The course of the domestic investigation has been repeatedly obstructed in the last two years and justice is still denied to the victims of the Beirut port explosion,” said Ghida Frangieh, head of litigation at The Legal Agenda. “It is time for Lebanon to end the cycle of legal impunity and strengthen its judicial institutions.”
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