On twitter, the Lebanese are mobilizing against the blocking of the investigation into the explosion of the port

A view of the Port of Beirut after the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that killed 200 people, injured 5,000 and left more than 250,000 homeless.

© REUTERS / Mohamed Azakir

Text by: Paul Khalifeh Follow

4 min

Almost a year after the double explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, which left 200 dead, 6,500 injured and destroyed part of the Lebanese capital, the investigation into this tragedy has still not been concluded.

The procedure was blocked by the immunity enjoyed by the senior officials indicted, angering the Lebanese who are showing up on social networks.


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from our correspondent in Beirut


In mid-July, examining magistrate Tarek Bitar launched a bombshell,

indicting former ministers, deputies and heads of security services,

but the protection these senior officials enjoy angered the Lebanese. Civil society activists have launched a campaign on social networks entitled "

 deputies of nitrate 

", alluding to the stock of

2,700 tons of this material which exploded on August 4, 2020.

This campaign is a response to a

petition signed by 28 deputies out of the 128 in Parliament,

and demanding that those responsible indicted by the examining magistrate not be tried before the criminal justice but rather appear before the High Council for the judgment. presidents, ministers and deputies.

This is a body created in 1926 and which has never tried anyone in 95 years.

The Lebanese parliament had rejected the investigating judge's request to indict three former ministers and current deputies, Nouhad Machnouk, Ghazi Zéaiter and Ali Hassan Khalil.

The Chamber asked the chief investigator for the documents and evidence at his disposal;

a request that the magistrate rejected.

Call for mobilization on August 4


hashtag "#the deputiesdunitrate"

, launched by the families of the victims of the tragedy of August 4 has spread like wildfire on Twitter. Photos of the 28 petition signatories were posted on social media with comments accusing them of obstruction of justice. The campaign caused great embarrassment within the mainstream political class, prompting several signatories of the parliamentary petition to withdraw their signatures.

The campaign intensified with the appearance of other


, such as " 

deputies of shame

 " or " 

scum of the nation


Thousands of Internet users have followed these keywords calling for the lifting of parliamentary immunity.

Faced with the scale of the virtual protests, the Beirut Bar has lifted the immunity of two of the deputies, who are at the same time lawyers, authorizing their appearance in criminal justice.

Despite the pressure, Parliament has given no sign that it will backtrack and allow three of its members to stand trial in a criminal court.

The leaders of the Chamber barricaded themselves behind the constitutional text, even if this argument does not satisfy the overwhelming majority of the Lebanese.

In any case, the families of the victims and the activists of society are not giving up.

Calls to demonstrate on August 4 are multiplying on social networks and the mobilization promises to be important.


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