French and Lebanese army troops were working, Wednesday, August 26, to clean debris left by the massive explosion that tore through Beirut on August 4.
READ MORE: A state of emergency law passed in Lebanon could be used to suppress protests and silence journalists and has formalized de facto policies in the country for cracking down on dissent, reporters and civil rights groups say.
The measure, approved on August 13 during an emergency Cabinet meeting with President Michel Aoun following a massive blast at the Port of Beirut, allows the army to ban assemblies, impose curfews, censor media it deems a national security threat and try civilians in military courts.
The explosion on August 4 killed nearly 200, injured thousands and left about 300,000 homeless, according to statistics by the United Nations and Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud.
"Under the state of emergency law, they can interfere with the media,” said Kareem Chehayeb, a Beirut-based reporter for The Public Source, an independent investigative media outlet that covers socioeconomic and environmental crises in Lebanon.
The law was slated for parliamentary renewal on August 21 but that body is on recess and it is not known if or when the measure will be renewed.