On 14 April 2022, LAW hosted an online panel discussion “Truth, Accountability and Rule of Law: Foundations for a new Lebanon.”
The panel was chaired by Dr Imad Salameh, Associate Professor at the Lebanese American University, and opening remarks were provided by Mr Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador to Lebanon.
Mireille Khoury mother of Elias Khoury, who passed away due to the blast at the age of 15, and Sarah Copland, mother of Isaac Oehlers, who passed away due to the blast at the age of 2, highlighted the importance of their right to know the truth and hold those responsible accountable.
Diane Assaf, a Lebanese lawyer, and Nada Abdelsater, Managing Partner of ASAS LAW, provided domestic legal perspectives, while Antonia Mulvey, Executive Director of LAW, outlined the potential international mechanisms that may be employed in this context. Ms Chantal Chastenay, Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon, delivered the closing comments.
Panellists underscored the need for improving accountability in Lebanon as a crucial component of the way forward. Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador hopes that the investigation will stay on the top of the agenda and that justice will be served. Diane Assaf pointed out that the investigation might be the last chance to break Lebanon’s entrenched culture of chronic impunity. According to Nada Abdelsater: “justice is not only being delayed in Lebanon – it is being obstructed.” Canadian Ambassador, Chantal Chastenay acknowledged the frustration of victims with the delays and highlighted the need to move forward with the investigation.
The outcome of the panel was an agreement on the importance of breaking the cycle of impunity by establishing the truth and delivering a foundation upon which a new Lebanon can be built.
Watch the highlights from the panel and the full recording below: