UN experts call for international investigation into the 2020 Beirut explosion
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: August 3, 2022
UN experts affiliated with the Human Rights Council in Geneva called for the launch of an international investigation into the massive explosion that occurred in Beirut two years ago, which killed more than 200 people and destroyed a large area of the Lebanese capital, stressing that for the sake of the victims justice and accountability must be sought.
One of the largest non-nuclear explosions:
“This tragedy marked one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in recent memory, yet the world has done nothing to find out why it happened,” the experts said. “On the second anniversary of the blast, we are disheartened that people in Lebanon still await justice, and we call for an international investigation to be initiated without delay.”
Shortly after the explosion, 37 UN experts issued a joint statement calling on the Lebanese government and the international community to respond effectively to the calls for justice and restoration of rights.
Instead, the national investigation process has been blocked several times, amid pleas from the victims’ families to the international community to conduct an independent investigation under the supervision of the Human Rights Council, in the hope that the investigation being assigned to it through this multilateral system would give them the answers that the Lebanese authorities have failed in presenting it.
Consequences of negligent governance and corruption:
The experts added that the explosion and its aftermath highlighted the systemic problems of lax governance and endemic corruption, and the tragedy unfolded as the country descended into what the World Bank described as a “deliberate and prolonged depression” caused by the authorities themselves, with people in Lebanon struggling to obtain fuel, electricity, medicine, and clean water. The currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value over the past two years, and the average inflation rate in June was around 210 percent.
The experts concluded their statement by saying that some countries promised to help people in Lebanon after the explosion, but they did not do enough to achieve justice and start an international investigation.