BEIRUT — As has been the case on every fourth of the month, relatives of victims of the August 4 Beirut port explosion gathered Tuesday afternoon in front of the statue of the immigrant, to commemorate the tragedy which left over 220 people dead and 6,500 injured.
"Nothing has been done in this case. Justice has still not taken its course. We're now asking Human Rights Watch to follow the case and carry out an investigation," Maud Najjar, the grandmother of a young victim told L'Orient Today.
"A month separates us from the 3rd commemoration of the explosions, and the investigation is still frozen. The suspects are quiet, as if nothing had happened," shouted a demonstrator reading a statement on behalf of the victims' families. "You are all murderers... The investigation must continue... We will not stop until the criminals are brought to justice."
The investigation into the port explosion has been suspended since last February, after Judge Tarek Bitar, who is in charge of the case, was accused of identity theft by the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, Ghassan Oueidat. The investigation has been at a standstill for over a year due to appeals lodged against the Oueidat by subpoenaed officials. When the investigation was resumed, Bitar launched proceedings against Oueidat. In response, the prosecutor ordered the release of 17 suspects in the port case who had been detained without trial since August 2020.