Lebanon deported nearly 2,500 Syrian refugees in three months: Amnesty

Refugees and displaced

Wednesday 28 August 2019 | 0:59 AM Damascus Time

SyriaLebanon Syrian refugeesSyrian refugees in LebanonAmnesty International

  • Lebanon deported nearly 2,500 Syrian refugees in three months: Amnesty

    BALADI NEWS

    On Tuesday, the human rights group said that the Lebanese authorities in mid-May began implementing a decision by the military-affiliated Higher Defense Council to deport refugees who entered the country "illegally" after 24 April.

    According to data obtained from Lebanon's General Security Organization and the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Lebanon has forcibly returned 2,447 refugees to Syria, Amnesty said, despite concerns the refugees could face rights abuses in the war-torn country.

    "We urge the Lebanese authorities to stop these deportations as a matter of urgency, and the Higher Defense Council to cancel its related decision," said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Middle East research director, in a statement.

    Maalouf said that as long as independent rights monitors such as the United Nations cannot operate freely in Syria, it is impossible to determine whether the refugees are at risk of human rights violations if they are sent back to the country.

    "Such access and monitoring mechanism inside Syria would be a first step in setting the process for returns. In the meantime, while risks upon return cannot be determined, any attempts to forcibly return refugees is a clear violation of Lebanon's non-refoulement obligations," she added.

    Syrians in Lebanon have been facing increased scrutiny over the years, with curfews, encampment raids and evictions becoming commonplace.

    Over 900,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon were registered with the UN Human High Commissioner for Refugees at the end of July, Amnesty said.

    An additional 31,000 Palestinian refugees who came from Syria also were registered with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) at that time.

    The Lebanese government claims that another 550,000 unregistered refugees live in the country, tantamount to a population of about six million people.

     Source: Middle East Eye. 

    SyriaLebanon Syrian refugeesSyrian refugees in LebanonAmnesty International