Episode 27 of the second season of the Legal Podcast: “Beirut explosion and criminal justice”
A talk with Omar Nashabh
The horridness of the Lebanese system exploded in our faces. On the afternoon of August 4, a fire broke in one of the Beirut Port”s warehouses which led to a huge explosion (perhaps the largest in the history of Beirut) due to tons of ammonium nitrate stored there. As a consequence, entire neighborhoods were destroyed in the capital (especially in the areas of Karantina, Rameel, Jeitaoui, Fasuh, Ashrafieh, etc.), and hundreds lost their lives, and thousands were wounded, making Beirut an afflicted city. Soon after, a state of emergency was declared in the city of Beirut and the government announced the formation of a special committee to investigate the explosion. The regime exploited its power to occupy the public sphere to bleach its image. It either tried to throw responsibility on the judiciary or to disperse responsibility on the various pillars of the system in order for responsibility to get lost in the details of the regime’s complex structure. How do we analyze this explosion in light of Lebanon’s political, economic and social context? How do we analyze the response of the Lebanese government and judiciary to this explosion?