Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Amnesty calls for independent investigation into Beirut explosion

Aug 06. 2020
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By The Nation

In response to the devastating explosion in Beirut on Tuesday (August 4), in which at least 135 people were killed and thousands more injured, Amnesty International’s acting secretary-general Julie Verhaar said: “The horrific scenes were devastating for a country already suffering under the strain of multiple crises.

“Whatever may have caused the explosion, including the possibility of a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely, Amnesty International is calling for an international mechanism to be promptly set up to investigate how this happened.

“Amnesty International is also calling on the international community to urgently increase humanitarian aid to Lebanon at a time when the country was already struggling with a severe economic crisis, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon President Michael Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafely in a warehouse and announced an official three-day period of mourning as of Wednesday as rescue workers continue searching through rubble for survivors. 

Amnesty International believes an international investigation, free from any potential domestic political interference, is necessary to ensure truth, justice, and reparations for victims.

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