Yesterday afternoon, the Lebanese General Directorate of State Security released William Noun, one of the most prominent representatives of the families of those killed in the explosion at the port of Beirut, after his arrest on the second day of his statements. There was widespread outrage and protests over the suspension of the investigation for over a year.
His release came after dozens of relatives of those killed in the explosion, along with lawmakers and activists, demonstrated in front of the directorate’s headquarters while the investigation is still pending. In 2021, political interference and lawsuits resulted in defendants, including MPs and former ministers, trying to stop the coroner, Judge Tariq Farrer.
Several demonstrators blocked roads in the Lebanese town of Jbeil on Mount Lebanon and in Beirut to protest the arrest of William Noun.
In a brief speech following his release, William, who lost his brother in the port fire explosion on August 4, 2020, told reporters: “We are children of the cause of August 4th and we have no personal case against anyone. ”
He added: “We just want truth and justice” and vowed to “keep fighting to complete the investigation”.
“The latter signed a commitment not to throw stones at the Palace of Justice and not to insult the judges,” lawyer Ralf Tanus, representing Noun, told reporters.
Dozens of activists and relatives of those killed took part in a demonstration outside the State Security Agency headquarters in Beirut’s Ramlet Al-Baida district yesterday, accompanied by several lawmakers and lawyers lining up. which condemned the “arbitrary” detention of Noun based on his statements, while those accused of the attack refuse to appear, to be interrogated and make the work of the forensic expert more difficult.
On August 4, 2020, a major explosion occurred in the port city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, killing more than 200 people and injuring around 6,000, in addition to causing extensive material damage to residential buildings and commercial establishments.
After the explosion in the port of Beirut, the families of the victims of the explosion organized repeated vigils to demand the accountability of those responsible, at a time when the investigation was inconclusive due to the counterclaims of the defendants. “Former MPs and Ministers” against judicial investigator Tariq al-Bitar, which led to the suspension of the investigation months ago.
Source: Al Ittihad
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