On 10 March, Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) and Human Rights Watch co-hosted an online panel discussion entitled “The 4 August Beirut Explosion: Can the Lebanese investigation deliver justice?”
The event brought together the parents of three children that were tragically killed in the explosion, Sarah Copland, mother of Isaac Ohelers; Mireille Bazergy, mother of Elias Khoury, and Paul Naggear and Tracy Awad, parents of Alexandra Naggear. They were joined by Ambassador Ralph Tarraf, Ambassador of the European Union to Lebanon; Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch; Najat Rochdi, United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon; Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and Nada Abdelsater, Esq. Managing Partner of ASAS Law and International Lawyer.
The parents, victims themselves, were united in their pain and anger. Each spoke of the tremendous but avoidable suffering that they, their children, their families, and the whole city experienced on the 4 August. They used the panel to highlight the Lebanese authority’s failure to protect their children from harm, and to call upon the international community to support their calls for an independent and impartial fact-finding mission into the explosion.
“Please do not forget our case.”
“People say that the explosion was an accident, but we say that Isaac was murdered, because negligence on this scale is absolutely criminal.”
“I cannot believe that we live today in a planet where such inhumane things can happen and that a whole population that has been victim of it can be forsaken.”
Watch the full event here