Top Lebanese officials were aware of risks posed by storage of ammonium nitrate

Beirut Blast
Beirut Port in the aftermath of the explosion, Aug. 9, 2020. (Mahdi Shojaeian/Wikimedia Commons)

According to The Media Line, Human Rights Watch released a report on Tuesday saying that, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the director-general of state security, and a number of other former ministers and officials were aware of the overwhelming risks posed by the storage of ammonium nitrate at Beirut Port, but ignored the danger.

The stored chemical exploded in a massive blast a year ago, on Aug. 4, 2020, that killed more than 200 people, injured thousands, and caused widespread destruction.

The media outlet said, the 700-page HRW report, which summarized the results of an extensive investigation, including multiple interviews with top government officials, concluded that multiple Lebanese authorities were criminally negligent under Lebanese law.

It added, it called on the UN Human Rights Council to do its own investigation into the event and asked governments around the world to impose sanctions on the officials responsible.

Beirut Blast

The report said: “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.”

President Aoun said Friday that he was willing to testify regarding the explosion and that no one was above the law.

Source: themedialine
Image source: Wikimedia Commons-themedialine