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Lebanon’s Quest for Justice: The State of the Investigation into the Beirut Port Explosion

Taking a closer look at Lebanon's struggle for justice: Where does the port blast investigation stand stand after more than two years?

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In the aftermath of the catastrophic Beirut port explosion in Lebanon, a distressing reality unfolds. Impunity and political interference have reigned supreme, casting a dark shadow over the local investigation into this tragic incident. Lebanese officials suspected of negligence have repeatedly delayed and halted the domestic investigation, shielding themselves and others responsible for human rights violations from being held accountable. As two years and nine months have passed, grave concerns arise regarding the Lebanese state's capacity to conduct a thorough investigation and take decisive action.

This paper delves into the investigation process surrounding the Beirut port explosion, ranked as one of the world's most devastating. It provides crucial data and details regarding the events, as well as an account of the investigation's progress from the appointment of Judge Sawan in 2020 to the ongoing tenure of Judge Bitar. The paper also examines the political and legal constraints that have hindered the progress of the judicial investigation, bringing attention to the internal division within the judicial branch and the abuse of national and international law.

Despite facing numerous obstacles, the families of the victims, rights groups, and Lebanese parliamentarians remain resolute in their pursuit of justice. Their unwavering determination is evident in the joint statement presented by Australia on behalf of thirty-eight countries at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2023 demanding justice. The quest for transparency, accountability, and justice leads to a call for an international and independent investigation to ensure the rights of the victims' families, survivors, and the people of Lebanon are upheld.

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Dania Ismaiel

Dania Ismaiel

Project Manager

Dania.ismaiel@kas.de +961 (0)1 388 095/6

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