Families of Beirut port victims protest to demand ‘faster justice’

Beirut port explosion in 2020 killed 217 people, injured thousands.

Families of Beirut port victims protest to demand ‘faster justice’

Dozens of families of the 2020 Beirut port blast on Thursday stormed the Justice Palace in the Lebanese capital to demand faster court decisions in the case.

Protesters raised pictures of their relatives killed in the blast and banners calling for faster decisions on lawsuits obstructing investigations into the explosion, the state news agency reported.

According to the same broadcaster, families of the victims staged a sit-in in front of the palace.

On August 4, 2020, the ignition of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at Beirut port caused an explosion that killed more than 217 people, injured thousands and caused billions of dollars in property losses.

Investigations into the catastrophic explosion have been suspended since Dec. 23, 2021, pending a court decision on lawsuits filed by lead investigator, judge Tarek al-Bitar.

On July 2, al-Bitar charged 10 officials, including former Prime Minister Hassan Diab and two lawmakers of the Shia Amal movement, an ally of the Hezbollah group, in connection with the blast.

Lawsuits, however, were rejected by some Lebanese political forces, including Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah considered al-Bitar's investigations "politicized" and far from truth.