Top Lebanese Officials Ignored Warnings About Dangerous Chemical Stored at Port: Rights Watchdog
Beirut Port in the aftermath of the explosion, Aug. 9, 2020. (Mahdi Shojaeian/Wikimedia Commons)

Top Lebanese Officials Ignored Warnings About Dangerous Chemical Stored at Port: Rights Watchdog

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, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday. 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 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 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. “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,” the report said. President Aoun said Friday that he was willing to testify regarding the explosion and that no one was above the law.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
Donate
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.