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UN experts demand probe into Beirut explosion

August 13, 2020

Nearly 40 UN human rights experts have called for a swift and independent probe into the Beirut port blast. The group has raised concerns over “irresponsibility” and “impunity” in Lebanon.

Beirut explosion
Image: Reuters/M. Azakir

UN human rights experts on Thursday demanded a prompt and independent probe into the deadly twin blasts that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

Some 38 experts raised the demand, citing concerns over irresponsibility and impunity in Lebanon. 

"We support calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and independent investigation based on human rights principles, to examine all claims, concerns and needs in relation to the explosion as well as the underlying human rights failures," the group said in a joint statement.

The explosion, the biggest in Beirut's history, killed at least 172 people and injured another 6,000. Some 250,000 were also left homeless due to the August 4 blasts. 

Read moreWill protests after Beirut blast bring reform to Lebanon?

The experts also called for a wider mandate to look into "any systemic failures of the Lebanese authorities and institutions to protect human rights".

UN experts do not speak for the United Nations but submit their findings to it.

"We are deeply concerned about the level of irresponsibility and impunity surrounding human and environmental devastation on this scale," the group said.

The statement was also posted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has previously rejected any international investigation into the port blast, as demanded by protesters.

dvv/stb (AFP)