Human rights advocate seeks to try officials deported refugees to Syria

Refugees and displaced

Friday 19 July 2019 | 10:43 AM Damascus Time

SyriaLebanonSyrian refugees in LebanonTariq ShandabHRWUNHCR

  • Human rights advocate seeks to try officials deported refugees to Syria


    Syrian refugees' defender and Human Rights advocate Tariq Shandab filed a complaint with the Special Public Prosecutor against the Lebanese judicial police, which handed over four Syrian refugees in Lebanon last week, Zaman Al-Wasl newspaper reported.

    Lawyer Shandab requested investigations for the persons who facilitated the extradition of the Syrian refugees, the newspaper said.

    “This case is actually a crime punishable by Lebanese law, international law and the four Geneva Conventions,” he said, adding that It’s a criminal act, especially as these four refugees will be killed or tortured.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) and four other groups said in May that staff at Lebanon's General Security Directorate deported at least 16 Syrians after forcing them to sign "voluntarily repatriation forms".

    Lebanon's General Security Directorate has been always denying it forced any Syrian to sign any form.

    One of the deportees said that the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR was not notified that he was being deported, and when it did hear of the expulsion, was not able to stop it, according to Zaman Al-Wasl.

    The process of handing over the Syrian refugees, in secret and in public, is sometimes due to pressures exerted by the Syrian regime and its allies inside Lebanon, Shandab says.

    The complaint included charges against the security apparatus and all those who contributed in this crime since Lebanon has signed Refugee’s conventions, the newspaper pointed out.

    “Lebanon should not be left as a yard for militias and those who serve Bashar al-Assad, so let law to prevail,” he said.

    Lebanon has hosted more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, a significant burden for a country of some 4.5 million people since the Syrian civil war's outbreak in 2011.

    While fighting has slowed or ended in many areas of Syria, the UN has stressed that all returns should be voluntary.

    Source: Zaman Al-Wasl

    SyriaLebanonSyrian refugees in LebanonTariq ShandabHRWUNHCR