The Syrian Coalition called for respect for the international conventions on refugees and to hold those involved in violations against refugees to account. It expressed his rejection and condemnation of the hate speech and racism being promulgated by Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and other Lebanese officials against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition warned of dire consequences of the incitement of hatred against Syrian refugees as well as the participation in the spreading of the obnoxious hatred, racism and populism being promulgation by the Lebanese Foreign Minister. It also warns that this hate speech will have dire consequences for those promoting it.
“No Syrian can deny the solidarity being demonstrated by Lebanese brothers who stood by the Syrian refugees during their ordeal. Many of them demonstrated in Beirut on Wednesday to denounce the violations against Syrian refugees,” the Coalition said.
“No one can also ignore the criminal role being played by well-known parties, especially the terrorist Hezbollah Militia, which has been involved in the crimes taking place in our country and its major role in the resulting mass displacement and refugee crisis.”
The Coalition stressed that unless the Hezbollah Militia withdraws from all the Syrian territory and ceases its support for the murderous Assad regime, there will be no point in calling for a unilateral solution to the problem of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
“Therefore, those who propose and support plans to force refugees to return to Syria are responsible for the crimes the Assad regime is committing against Syrians.”
The Coalition called upon the rational voices in Lebanon, especially the Lebanese Prime Minister, to assume their humanitarian and official responsibility as was stipulated by the principles and resolutions of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the treaties to which Lebanon is committed. It also called for putting an end to such statements before they cause more damage or turn into a spark leading to unpredictable consequences.
“We emphasize the need to respect the laws and treaties, and to abstain from making more inflammatory statements which recall the violations against Syrian refugees, including the arrest campaigns, the destruction and burning of tents, and the handover of Syrian refugees to the Assad regime.”
The Coalition went on: “There is an urgent need for practical and legal intervention to put an end to these campaigns and the offensive statements against the Lebanese people before any other party.”
“We renew our call for respect for international agreements on refugees and for holding accountable those involved in violations, incitement of hatred against refugees and violation of their legitimate rights.
It is imperative that the United Nations and the International Human Rights Commission shoulder their responsibilities to prevent further violations and crimes against Syrian refugees and hold those responsible accountable.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of the Refugee Affairs, Amal Sheikho, condemned the murder of the Syrian youngster Zakaria al-Taha in Lebanon. She demanded that the Lebanese authorities launch an immediate, transparent investigation and hold those responsible for the crime to account.
Zakaria, who used to work in a cafe in the city of Sayda, was murdered by two young men on Tuesday, one of whom was Lebanese. Lebanese media outlets reported that the two youths, who were drunk, stopped in front of the coffee shop where Zakaria used to work and ordered coffee. Enraged that their order was delayed, a brawl broke out between them and Zakaria that ended with one of the two clients shooting Zakaria in the head.
Sheikho said that the promulgation of hate speech by some Lebanese officials, including most notably Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, is largely to blame for the crimes being committed against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She stressed the need to put an end to the racist speech against refugees and to respect the International Law.
Sheikho pointed out that the rampant corruption in Lebanon, which has exacerbated the country’s economic problems in recent years, should not be blamed on the Syrian refugees.
She stressed that the involvement of Hezbollah, a key component of the Lebanese government, in the crimes of the Assad regime against the civilians in Syria is a major reason for the refugee outflow from Syria.
Attacks against Syrian refugees in Lebanon have increased recently, coinciding with anti-refugee remarks by some Lebanese officials. These attacks included murder, arbitrary arrests, and a clampdown on businesses run by Syrian refugees.
Sheikho described these attacks against refugees as systematic, warning of attempts to force the Syrian the refugees to return in risky conditions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)