Disasters & Accidents

Beirut blast victims call for international enquiry

Beirut, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- Victims of the Beirut explosion on Friday called for an international investigation into what happened on 4 August at the capital’s port.

They have called for those responsible for the tragedy to be held accountable, describing it as a crime against humanity.

“The victims of the 4 August massacre are asking for support from the international community to achieve justice and truth through an international trial and investigation,” lawyer Nada Abdelsater said at a public event in Beirut on Friday.

She added that the victims want the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court or for a special international tribunal to be set up to deal with the case.

Victims have sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council with their demands, the lawyer continued.

A group of survivors and families of those who died in the blast involving 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate launched the initiative in a tented camp from where the port is visible.

Abdelsatar called on other victims to join the initiative through a website created for this purpose.

She said Lebanese politicians were evading their responsibility and that “suspicions are growing that the crime scene is being manipulated and international experts are being prevented from providing assistance” to the investigation.

One of the victims who has joined the initiative is

Nicole Nagar, whose three-year-old daughter Alexandra died days after the explosion from her injuries, is among those who have signed up.

He called for “unity and solidarity” with the Lebanese people and praised the “incredible” reaction from organizations and volunteers who have taken to the streets of the most affected neighborhoods in the face of a lack of government help.

Lebanese authorities have promised to hold a swift investigation to shed light on how the shipment of ammonium nitrate that had been unsafely stored in a warehouse at the port since 2014 exploded.

It came after United States undersecretary of state for political affairs David Hale announced on Thursday during a visit to Beirut that the FBI will be involved in the investigation.

More than 40 UN human rights experts have also called for a prompt and independent investigation that should be protected from any undue influence in a joint statement.

The explosion killed at least 177 people, injured another 6,000 and left around 250,000 people homeless. EFE-EPA


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