In this episode, we headed over to Lebanon and had a closer look at the issues the country is experiencing with ensuring accountability. To help us, we enlisted Olga Kavran, former head of outreach at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and Aya Majzoub from Human Rights Watch.
The STL’s only trial, regarding the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri in 2005, unsatisfactorily produced only one guilty verdict for a Hezbollah member. Just a few days after we recorded this episode, the Tribunal announced that it is being forced to shut shop due to an insurmountable financial crisis and that thus it will not be able to embark in what would have been its second case, about three car bombings in 2004 and 2005. But Lebanon’s problems with accountability don’t end with the STL; the search for justice for the Beirut harbour explosion of 2020 is proving to be quite troublesome as well.
In this context, can anything change for the better in Lebanon to make accountability possible?
If you’re interested in the issues around trials in absentia, check our our previous podcast too.
Both our guest are (unsurprisingly) very fond of Lebanon-focused podcasts. Olga enjoys The Beirut Banyan by Ronnie Chatah and The Lebanese Politics Podcast, hosted by Benjamin Redd, Nizar Hassan and Timour Azhari; Aya also suggests having a listen to the Sarde After Dinner Podcast, by Médéa Azouri and Mouin Jaber. In addition, Olga is escaping her PhD reads by listening to the Fake Law audiobook, by the mysterious The Secret Barrister, and Aya is reading Black Wave, by Kim Ghattas.