Rights Group: Lebanese authorities failed to protect residents | WGN 720 radio
Beirut (AP) – Lebanese officials have known of the risks posed by explosive substances stored in the port of Beirut for years and have done nothing to protect their people, an international human rights group said. Said Tuesday.
In a report on last year’s explosion, Human Rights Watch said the same officials are currently trying to thwart the investigation.
The report says that a year after the horrific August 4 explosion in Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 214 people, injured more than 6,000 and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and businesses. show. Before the explosion, a large fire broke out in a warehouse at the port after hundreds of tons of poorly stored ammonium nitrate exploded.
A year later, the investigation has yet to answer questions such as who ordered the shipment of the chemicals and why authorities have ignored repeated internal warnings about the danger.
In a 650-page report titled “They Killed Us From Inside,” the New York-based group announced a number of documents and exchanges between Lebanese authorities regarding ammonium nitrate that had been stored in unplanned way in the port for almost six years. ..
“The actions and omissions of the Lebanese authorities created an unjustified risk to life,” the report said. Under international human rights law, the failure of a state to act to prevent foreseeable risks to life is a violation of the right to life. He added that.
Additionally, HRW said the evidence strongly suggests that some government officials foresaw the potential for disaster due to the presence of nitrates and implicitly accepted the risk. “Under national law, this could amount to a crime of intentional murder and / or unintentional murder,” he added.
The report was briefed by President Michel Aoun, then Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the former head of the Lebanese Armed Forces, senior security officials and several ministers briefed on the risks of nitrates amid densely populated advertisements. Name senior leaders, including. Although it is a residential area, it has not been able to take the necessary measures to protect people.
Lebanese officials admit they were aware of the nitrates and said they pursued the issue after learning about it, or said they did not know because they were out of their jurisdiction.
HRW has said it “cannot provide credible justice” due to the lack of judicial independence, the constitutional immunity of senior officials and a series of procedural and systematic flaws in national investigations.
The families of the survivors and victims of the blast are calling for an international investigation, saying they lack confidence in the Lebanese justice system.
“International research has only gotten stronger,” HRW said.
“Everyone listed in the report was aware of the dangers posed by the material and was responsible for acting under international law and not acting,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanese researcher at HRW. Noted.
“It is a serious violation of human rights. It is one of the most basic rights, the right to life, she told The Associated Press.
Rhosus, a ship that carried 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to Lebanon in 2013, is said to have sailed from the port of Batumi in the Black Sea during the George dynasty to the port of Beira in Mozambique.
I stopped in Beirut and tried to make money with heavy equipment. However, the additional cargo proved to be too heavy for Rosas, and the crew refused to accept it. Rhosus was immediately seized by the Lebanese authorities for non-payment of the shipping costs and never left the port again.
HRW said the question remained as to whether the shipment was intended to arrive in Mozambique or “Beirut was the intended destination”. Currently available evidence indicates that several Lebanese authorities have shown negligence in handling the Rhosus cargo, at least under Lebanese law.
Last month, the Lebanese chief investigator in the case, Tarek Beatal, announced that he would prosecute senior politicians and former and current security ministers in the case, seeking permission to prosecute them. paddy field.
Those named in connection with the investigation, such as the Prime Minister, parliamentarians and supreme generals, have not yet appeared in connection with the prosecution because they are exonerated from any responsibility as parliamentarians or require special authorization from the Prime Minister or the Minister of the Interior. appear.
Suggest a solution
Source link Rights Group: Lebanese authorities failed to protect residents | WGN 720 radio