Press briefing notes on Lebanon


A year ago, the Lebanese capital, Beirut, was rocked by explosions that left, according to official figures, more than 200 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. The explosions on 4 August 2020 ripped through the city, causing appalling devastation and changing the lives of thousands of people forever.

There was initially a powerful spirit of national solidarity as all elements of society came together in response, and the Government initiated judicial proceedings. But 12 months on, victims and their loved ones are still fighting for justice and truth. Investigations appear to have stalled, amid a worrying lack of transparency and accountability.

As despair deepens and anger mounts in Lebanon, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is today stressing the urgent need for the Lebanese Government to ensure a transparent, effective, thorough and impartial investigation into what happened last August and to hold those responsible accountable.

The High Commissioner is also calling on the authorities to uphold the right of victims to effective remedy and reparations.

One victim, who lost her husband, her brother and a cousin in the blast, said she would keep seeking the truth to her last breath. The authorities must pursue the investigations with similar resolve.

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