As the country boils in light of the worst economic crisis since the days of the civil war years ago, the families of the victims of an explosion carried out Beirut port Protest in front of the home of the caretaker Interior Minister, Mohamed Fahmy, for his refusal to allow the investigative judge in the explosion to question the Director of Public Security.
More than 100 protesters gathered near the home of the Minister of Interior, describing him as a “terrorist”, according to “Reuters”, before making their way to the entrance to the building.
In addition, witnesses said that quarrels then occurred with the police, who pushed back the demonstrators at the entrance to the building, after they fired tear gas, but the crowd refused to leave the area and tension escalated as more riot police arrived at the scene.
The families of the victims were also able to take off the iron gate and enter the inner courtyard of the building, where Minister Fahmy lives, according to the official National News Agency.
“Raise immunity requirement”
They stipulated that Minister Fahmy lift the immunity of the defendants, in exchange for stopping their exposure to the building.
Soon, problems escalated in front of the entrance to Fahmy’s house, to the point of breaking its glass gate. In the clashes, tear gas canisters, sticks, stones and chairs were used. And led to injuries among the protesters and the security forces.
The vicinity of the minister’s house also turned into a violent battlefield, while the security forces separated the demonstrators from the Fahmy building. Later, it was reported that the Minister of Interior left his home in Koraytem, according to the local Central News Agency.
It is noteworthy that Judge Tariq Bitar, the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion case, requested the questioning of Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Director General of the Public Security Agency, and other senior officials, including three members of Parliament and the head of the caretaker government, Hassan Diab, but his request was rejected.
For its part, the House of Representatives has not yet taken a decision regarding whether to lift the immunity of former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, former Minister of Public Works and Transport Ghazi Zuaiter and former Minister of Interior Nouhad Machnouk, regarding the investigation into the port explosion, after the procedures were postponed on Friday to obtain more Information from the judge.
Bitar became the judicial investigator in the explosion case after his predecessor, Judge Fadi Sawan, was dismissed in February in response to two requests from two former ministers he accused of negligence regarding the explosion.
Skirmishes with security forces (Reuters)
More than 200 dead
Less than a month later, it marked the anniversary of one of the world’s worst eruptions, with some 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive used to make fertilizer and explosives, improperly stored in the harbor for years.
The catastrophic explosion killed 211 people and injured more than 6,000 others.
Forensic experts in the French police also participated in the investigation, days after the explosion, and then left weeks later.
Although a year has passed since the explosion, the cause of an initial fire in the warehouse, which subsequently caused the explosion, or who was responsible for storing fertilizers in the port warehouse for years is still unknown.
Security forces in front of the minister’s house (Reuters)
It is noteworthy that Prime Minister Hassan Diab submitted his resignation after the explosion, in front of a wave of anger, while Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri was unable to form a new government since then.
This political crisis also exacerbated an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that caused the collapse of the local currency, and threw nearly half of the country’s population into poverty.