Aug 14, 2020
Letter to the attention of the mandate holders of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council -Explosion in Beirut
On August 11, Lebanese civil society supported by regional and international organizations sent a letter to the attention of the mandate holders of the Special procedures. The letter noted that the massive explosion of August 4, that completely destroyed Beirut’s harbor (in a country whose economy heavily relies on imports) and the neighboring areas, has shown the persistent negligence of Lebanese authorities and the inability of the Lebanese ruling elite to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of the people living under their jurisdiction. It called mandate holders to: Request an urgent country visit to Lebanon in order to assess the human rights situation under your respective mandates, making recommendations to Lebanon in line with its obligations under international human rights law, and to meaningfully engage with civil society during the visits Issue a joint public statement firmly condemning the Lebanese government for its failure to respect, protect and fulfill the rights to, inter alia, life, health and to live in a safe and sustainable environment of the people living under its jurisdiction. Call for a special session of the Human Rights Council during its September 2020 meeting. Read full letter. It is open to endorsements, please send your endorsement to [email protected] On August 13, UN human rights experts issued a joint call, for justice and accountability in response to Beirut explosion. They supported the calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and independent investigation based on human rights principles, to examine all claims, concerns and needs in relation to the explosion as well as the underlying human rights failures. They also urge consideration of a special debate at the UN Human Rights Council this September so as to explore all possible avenues by which (i) Justice for the multiple victims of the explosion, and for the people in Lebanon at large, is rendered effectively, transparently and impartially; (ii) Non-repetition is secured through long-term systemic reforms based on open consultations with the people in Lebanon; and (iii) Urgent assistance is provided by the international community to Lebanon and its people to address the immediate needs of shelter, food, medical, health and other related needs emerging from the disaster.
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