Yasser al-Farhan, Coordinator of the Syrian National Coalition’s National Commission for the Affairs of the Missing and Detainees denounced the growing violations against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially against detainees in the Lebanese prisons.
Al-Farhan cited the recent attempted suicide by some of the Syrian detainees after the Lebanese authorities handed over a group of their cellmates in Roumieh prison to the Assad regime.
Al-Farhan added that the handover of Syrian detainees caused panic amongst the rest of the detainees who fled their country because of the brutality of the Assad regime. He stressed that the deportation of the detainees puts their lives under serious risk.
Al-Farhan described the move as extremely grave and violates international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the four Geneva Conventions and the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the humanitarian and moral principles on the protection of refugees.
“We are keen on the independence of the Lebanese judiciary and fear that its decisions will be affected by pressure from political parties loyal to the Assad regime,” Al-Farhan added.
Moreover, Al-Fahran pointed out that this move is illegal and makes Lebanon accountable in front of the international community for violating the United Nations Convention against Torture which explicitly states that “no State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”
Al-Farhan called on the Lebanese authorities to take the necessary measures to prevent a repeat of this move. He also called on human rights organizations in Lebanon to assume their role to ensure that no Syrian refugees are handed over to the Assad regime.
Al-Farhan also called on the international community to follow up on the issue of the Syrian detainees who were handed over to the Assad regime in order to know their fate and provide them with the necessary protection.
A number of Syrian prisoners in Roumieh Prison attempted to hang themselves after the Lebanese authorities had handed over five Syrian detainees to the Assad regime in serious violation of international human rights law, especially article 3 of the Convention against Torture which Lebanon has ratified and pledged to abide by its provisions. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Negotiations Commission met with a number of Syrian media activists in the presence of the Commission Head, Nasr Al-Hariri, and the Joint Chairman of the Constitutional Committee Hadi Al-Bahra and members of the Committee. They discussed preparations for the first meeting of the Committee scheduled for late October at the UN Office at Geneva and the role of the Commission in following up on the work of the Committee.
Participants in the meeting, which was held at the Coalition headquarters in Istanbul, stressed the need to support the work of the Constitutional Committee and to strengthen coordination with Syrian media activists in order to ensure the success of the work of the Constitutional Committee and achieve a political transition.
Al-Hariri gave an overview on the latest developments in the political process and the mechanisms of the formation of the Constitutional Committee as well as the preparations made by the Constitutional Committee during its latest meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh and the role of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in supporting and ensuring the work of the Committee in accordance with international resolutions.
Al-Bahra stressed that the Constitutional Committee will prioritize the rights and freedoms, security and military institutions, electoral process, and the mandate of the legislative, judicial and executive powers and to ensure their independence and that there is a separation of powers so as to ensure reaching a political solution and the drafting of a constitution befitting the sacrifices of the Syrian people and fulfill their aspirations.
Members of the Committee listened to a set of suggestions that were put forward by the media activists on the need to follow up on the work and activity of the Syrian Negotiations Commission and focus on the issues related to public opinion. Members of the Syrian National Coalition Riyad al-Hassan and Dima Moussa answered questions with regards to the legal aspects and the UN resolutions on Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)