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Lebanon: One year on, families affected by the blast at Beirut port seek justice

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Lebanon on Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the world’s biggest non-nuclear explosion, which killed at least 214 people and destroyed thousands of homes. With more than half the country living in poverty, the disaster deepened the country’s economic crisis. France, which previously ruled Lebanon, hopes to raise humanitarian aid for the nation at an international conference co-hosted by the UN on Wednesday. 

Protests are expected to take place in Beirut as victims of the blast grow restless for justice. The victims told AFP that they are willing to ‘break bones’ in upcoming protests and that authorities should remove immunity from senior politicians, which is currently hindering the process of meting justice. Families affected by the blast are demanding an independent investigation into who was responsible for the blast.

Lebanon is currently facing shortages of fuel, clean water and medicine. Amnesty International accused the Lebanese authorities of shamelessly obstructing justice. According to foreign and Lebanon intelligence, the blast was the result of carelessness on part of port authorities where tonnes of fertiliser was carelessly stored in the same warehouse as tonnes of fireworks, rolls of detonating cord and other dangerous materials. 

Lebanon politicians have been ignoring pressure from the international community and sanction threats. 

A report released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday revealed that Lebanese officials knew about the lethal risks posed by ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port before the fatal blast, a Reuters report reads.  

“Evidence strongly suggests that some government officials foresaw the death that the ammonium nitrate’s presence in the port could result in and tacitly accepted the risk of the deaths occurring,” the report said.


Courtesy – www.theweek.in

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