Dutch and French activists on Sunday called for an international investigation into the death of Syrian refugees under torture in Lebanon and for holding perpetrators to account. The calls came during a sit-in at Westmarket square in the Dutch capital Amsterdam where participants announced they were going on a hunger strike to protest against the death of the refugees.
Dutch activist and writer Désanne van Brederode, who has been on a hunger strike since Friday, expressed solidarity with the Syrian people as she voiced support for the demands of hunger strikers.
Van Brederode, who is a member of the Committee for Supporting the Syrian Revolution, called on international organizations, including Amnesty International, to put an end to the “terrible violence against Syrian refugees, not only inside Syria but also in refugee camps abroad.”
The Syrian Legal Network in the Netherlands denounced the detention and torture by the Lebanese army of Syrian refugees in and around the town of Arsal. The Network called for reining in the practices of the Hezbollah militia and its domination over Lebanese state institutions. It also called for prosecuting and holding accountable those found guilty of this “heinous crime.”
Nabil Halabi, Chief of LIFE Organization for Democracy and Human Rights in Lebanon, on Wednesday said that ten of those who were detained by the Lebanese army have died while in custody. He noted that the bodies of seven of those killed were handed over to their families, showing signs of torture.
The Syrian Coalition earlier held the Lebanese authorities responsible for the incidents that took place in Arsal. It called for an urgent investigation into the crimes against the Syrian refugees and for perpetrators to be held to account.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition called upon the United Nations, the UN Commission on Human Rights, and all relevant international organizations to take urgent action and assume their responsibilities to stop these violations and crimes and to hold those responsible accountable.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in dire conditions as they have been subjected to tight security control and repeated attacks and violations. Refugees in camps suffer shortages of basic necessities. Detention of refugees who failed to renew their residency permits has increased following the explosions in the town of Qaa’. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)