Protesters Rally outside Sawan House, Vow Escalation over Blast Probe

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Protesters on Wednesday gathered in Ashrafieh’s Sassine Square before marching to the nearby house of Judge Fadi Sawan, the lead judicial investigator into the catastrophic blast at Beirut port.

The demonstrators demanded that the investigation’s developments be immediately unveiled, stressing that they will not allow the truth to be buried.

“Wounded Beirut demands punishment. Three months have passed since the port explosion and you are going around in circles in the investigations,” Nada Agha, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said, addressing authorities.

Addressing Sawan, she added: “Is procrastination aimed at acquitting the corrupt ruling authorities from the crime of the explosion while they are responsible for it? Is procrastination aimed at searching for a scapegoat that prevents the incrimination of the real culprits? We came here today to send a warning or else we will engage in a confrontation on the streets with anyone seeking to conceal the truth.”

An official spokesman for the families of the victims, Ibrahim Hteit, meanwhile warned that the next protests will be “very harsh.”

“We will block the streets until justice is fulfilled,” he pledged.

The Aug. 4 explosion, one of the strongest in history, killed around 200 people and wounded over 6,500 while leaving swathes of Beirut in ruins.

Around 25 people have been detained in the probe, including top customs and port officials. No incumbent or former political officials have been arrested or charged although some have testified as witnesses.

SourceNaharnet

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