Lebanon stalls investigation into August 4th explosion as pressure mounts for fact-finding committee

News Bulletin Reports
2023-03-08 | 10:26
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Lebanon stalls investigation into August 4th explosion as pressure mounts for fact-finding committee
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Lebanon stalls investigation into August 4th explosion as pressure mounts for fact-finding committee

As investigations into the devastating explosion in Beirut's port on August 4th, 2020 are stalled, 38 countries are demanding a rapid, impartial, and transparent investigation by the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The question remains whether this will lead to the formation of a special court, as was the case in the assassination of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

To avoid confusion, legal sources confirm that the circumstances of the two cases are different. 

In the case of Hariri, a special investigative committee and court were established at the request of the Lebanese government. 

However, the establishment of a fact-finding committee does not require a decision from the government. It is enough for the Human Rights Council to decide to do so if human rights violations are found.

A fact-finding committee is not a court, and its establishment does not affect the completion of the Lebanese investigation. 

Its main role is to gather information about the path of justice and submit a report to the Security Council, which will decide whether to form an international investigative committee or a special court.

The recent statement from the Human Rights Council is the result of a long process involving three levels of action: work by international human rights organizations, pressure from the families of the victims, and political lobbying by the "Kulluna Irada" group, the National Bloc party, and active groups on the ground in Lebanon and Paris.

Before the next session of the Human Rights Council in June, pressure will continue to call for a statement demanding the formation of a fact-finding committee. If that happens, the Lebanese state is obligated to cooperate with the committee.

The condemnation statement is the first step in the internationalization of the port explosion case. Will Lebanese officials learn from this and stop hindering the path of justice? Only time will tell.
 

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