‘No one has been held responsible’ in 2020 Beirut port explosion: Amnesty International

‘No one has been held responsible’ in 2020 Beirut port explosion: Amnesty International

Rights group says authorities ‘shamelessly’ obstruct legal process to avoid being accused

By Idris Okuduci

BEIRUT (AA) - No one has been found guilty in connection with a port explosion in Lebanon in 2020, Amnesty International said Thursday.

“The Lebanese authorities have had three years to investigate what caused the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port and to hold those suspected of criminal responsibility to account,” said Aya Majzoub, spokesperson for the Middle East and North Africa Director at the rights group.

“Yet to this day, absolutely no one has been held responsible for the tragedy that unfolded on 4 August 2020,” she said in a statement.

Majzoub alleged that authorities have “shamelessly” obstructed the legal process and employed all means to avoid being accused. She said the culture of impunity persists in Lebanon.

“The international community has repeatedly condemned the authorities’ blatant political interference in the domestic investigation, including in a joint statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council earlier this year,” she said.

Beirut was rocked by a massive explosion in 2020 that killed more than 200 and injured 6,500. About 50,000 housing units suffered damage, with property damage estimated at $15 billion.

The Lebanese Court of Cassation decided to release those arrested in the explosion at the beginning of 2023.

*Alperen Aktas contributed to the story from Istanbul

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