BEIRUT — A small demonstration composed mainly of family members of the August 4, 2020 Beirut port explosion victims gathered late Thursday at the statue of the Emigrant to commemorate the passing of two years and nine months since the tragedy.
Holding up portraits of their loved ones, family members denounced the impasse in the investigation into the tragedy, which was entrusted to the investigating judge Tarek Bitar.
"Three months separate us from the third anniversary of the double explosion at the port of Beirut," one demonstrator lamented, stressing that "the blame falls on those in power who "claim to be statesmen."
"The truth has been lost in the corridors of politics, confessionalism, cake-sharing and clientelism."
Demonstrators pleaded that "all those who were in power and who could have prevented this disaster" be held accountable and accused those responsible of "remaining silent to hide clues about the third largest explosion in the world."
The investigation into the explosion has been suspended since February after Tarek Bitar faced charges for "rebelling against the judiciary." The charges were issued by the General Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation Ghassan Oueidat. When the investigation was resumed, Bitar launched proceedings against Oueidate. In response, Oueidate ordered the release of the 17 suspects implicated in the port explosion, who had been detained without trial since August 2020.