Families demand justice two years on from Beirut port blast | Beirut explosion News


Beirut, Lebanon – Hundreds of individuals gathered in remembrance of the Beirut Port explosion that devastated the capital two years in the past and killed greater than 200 individuals, with demonstrators calling for these accountable to be held accountable.

Certainly one of three marches held throughout the town commenced on the fireplace station in Karantina, a neighbourhood located immediately subsequent to the port, the place households held white coffins with the names of 10 firefighters who died.

The firefighters had been despatched to regulate a blaze that broke out at a warehouse within the port, which set off the explosion of ammonium nitrate, with out understanding they had been being despatched to their deaths.

Tatiana Hasrouty, 21, was on the entrance of the march, serving to to carry a large Lebanese flag. Her father had labored within the operations centre of the port silos for 38 years earlier than being killed within the explosion. It took search groups 14 days to seek out his physique.

“We all know that this state is corrupted and this state did this crime: they killed our dad and mom, they broke our houses, they’re those which can be responsible,” Hasrouty instructed Al Jazeera, talking of Lebanese officers.

“It’s actually vital to use strain on this ruling state as a result of they’re nonetheless in energy … Nothing can scare us – no militia, no president, nobody can scare us,” she stated, noting the individuals not too long ago re-elected to parliament who’ve been charged within the native investigation and have arrest warrants towards them.

Beirut march Aug 4
Tatiana Hasrouty, 21, is demanding worldwide motion to carry a UN fact-finding mission to Lebanon so as to maintain individuals accountable for the loss of life of her father, who was killed within the explosion [Tessa Fox/Al Jazeera]

Following a fireplace that broke out in one of many port warehouses, 2,750 crates of poorly saved ammonium nitrate exploded on August 4, 2020, injuring a minimum of 7,000, leaving greater than 150 individuals with everlasting disabilities, and displacing greater than 300,000 individuals.

A gaggle of households underneath the title August 4 Collective began their march from the Justice Palace earlier than persevering with to the French embassy to make sure their voices had been heard in Paris, as French President Emmanuel Macron is allegedly blocking a United Nations fact-finding mission to Lebanon.

‘Worldwide intervention’

The collective then handed by the Samir Kassir constructing in downtown Beirut “to ship a message of solidarity to all of the individuals going through injustices in Lebanon, as a result of the Lebanese individuals are going through injustice day by day”, stated Paul Naggear, father of three-year-old Alexandra, who was killed of their house by the blast.

Earlier than the marches might even attain the port, a cloud of mud bloomed into the sky as one other two silos collapsed after having been on fireplace for 3 weeks, as a result of the grain left in place because the explosion was ignited by the summer season warmth.

4 silos collapsed final Sunday and as much as one other eight might fall at any minute.

The households of the victims have been protesting authorities makes an attempt to tear down the remaining silos so as to not erase the reminiscence of August 4 and to depart proof in place.

Beirut march Aug 4
White coffins are carried with the names of the firefighters killed after being despatched to take care of a fireplace in one of many port warehouses that triggered the explosion [Tessa Fox/Al Jazeera]

Mireille Bazergy Khoury – the mom of Elias Khoury, who was solely 15 when the partitions of his bed room got here crashing down on him after the explosion – instructed Al Jazeera that nothing had been finished to cease the hearth raging on the silos, worsening the scenario.

“These silos are essential to us … there are some households who nonetheless hope to seek out components of the our bodies of their kids underneath there,” Khoury stated.

The names of 241 individuals killed had been learn out in entrance of the port, echoing throughout the buildings destroyed at 6:07pm, the time the explosion occurred, as ambulance sirens rang out.

Some revolution chants had been heard among the many crowd earlier than an oath was made, prompted by households talking on stage, to by no means give up till justice is discovered by these in energy.

Two years on, households are nonetheless tirelessly preventing for justice as an area investigation into the explosion has been stalled by Lebanese politicians who’ve been charged or known as in for questioning.

The proof that has already emerged from investigations by rights teams, journalists, and Lebanese judges strongly means that high-ranking officers in authorities and the safety forces knew concerning the danger from the ammonium nitrate stockpile and tacitly accepted it.

Households demanded the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) ship a fact-finding mission to Lebanon.

“We’re stressing that we want now a global intervention … Historical past is not going to be merciful with anybody who is not going to look into this violation; it should report those that didn’t do something,” Khoury stated.

“It wasn’t simply Lebanese individuals who had been killed… Subsequently, it’s not only a Lebanese difficulty, it’s a global difficulty and it’s about time they stand to their duties … contemplating the HRC mandate is to look into the violation of human rights.”

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