Lebanese President Michel Aoun has demanded Thursday that “the whole truth” be revealed about the explosions of August 4, 2020 in the port of Beirut, which left more than 220 dead and huge material damage in the capital.
“Two years after the tragedy of August 4, I share the grief of the families of the victims and the injured, as well as the families of the detainees,” Aoun said through a message posted on his account on the social network Twitter.
“I assure them of my commitment to achieving justice through the revelation of the whole truth by an impartial judicial process that goes to the end, away from any fraud or injustice,” he said.
Thus, the Lebanese president has defended that this process is necessary so that “all those who are proven to be involved are held accountable.” “No one is above the law,” he stressed, amid complaints from the victims’ families about the blockage of the investigations.
For its part, the Shiite militia-party Hezbollah has demanded a “fair” investigation and stressed that “Lebanon and its people are still suffering from the national tragedy, which struck the heart of the country.”
“Hezbollah renews its deep condolences to the families of the martyrs, regardless of their sect and nationality, and we convey our sincere sympathy to the wounded and those whose properties were damaged,” he said.
However, Hezbollah has denounced the “huge political and media campaigns” of the past two years and criticized that “baseless accusations” have been leveled against the group that “have led to local tensions that brought Lebanon to the brink of dangerous instability.”
“We call for a fair and transparent investigation, according to basic legal standards, far from any politicization, double standards and sectarian instigation. We believe that only justice can soothe souls and consolidate stability in the country,” the group concluded, as reported by the Lebanese television network Al Manar, linked to Hezbollah.
Tensions over the investigations marked a new high on October 14, 2021, when at least seven people were killed in clashes amid a demonstration in Beirut to demand the resignation of Judge Tarek Bitar, amid a campaign of criticism by Hezbollah and AMAL against him.
Popular unrest has been on the rise in recent months due to the blocking of investigations and delays in the removal of the immunity of former ministers and parliamentarians whom Bitar has summoned to testify as part of the inquiries, including former Prime Minister Hasan Diab, who resigned after the blasts.