The Syrian Coalition’s Secretary of the political committee, Riad al-Hassan, said that the “systematic incitement of hatred” has flared up against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon recently. He pointed out that the Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi is taking part in the incitement of hatred against Syrian refugees.
Al-Hassan noted that some Lebanese officials insist on describing the Syrian refugees in Lebanon as displaced persons with the aim of depriving them of the rights enshrined in international conventions and resolutions relating to refugee affairs and consequently “evading any legal consequences.”
Al-Rahi voiced support for “calls by the Lebanese President to completely separate between the political solution in Syria and the return of the displaced Syrians,” and his remarks that “connecting the two issues is the biggest threat to Lebanon.”
Al-Hassan reiterated the need to fully comply with UN Security Council resolution 2254 stating that there is no lasting solution to the current crisis in Syria except through an inclusive political process that is based on the implementation of the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.
Al-Hassan also stressed the need to comply with paragraph 14 of UN resolution 2254 underscoring “the critical need to build conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their home areas and the rehabilitation of affected areas, in accordance with international law.” He stressed that these provisions are an essential part of the political solution.
Moreover, Al-Hassan warned of the risks threatening the Syrian refugees in Lebanon should they were forcibly returned to Syria, including reprisals and oppression by the military and security apparatus of the Assad regime and its sectarian militias. He also underscored the need to create the safe conditions for their return such as changing laws in the country such as Law No. 10 on property and the laws relating to the compulsory military service. He also stressed the need to give the refugees access to personal documents, rehabilitate the areas they have left, and provide the returnees with the means of a decent life.
Al-Hassan cited the Assad regime’s execution of Syrian refugees returning from Lebanon to Syria as was revealed by the former Lebanese Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Mouin Merehbi.
Al-Hassan also stressed the need for the non-signatory States to the convention on refugees, including Lebanon, to abide by the provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to ensure that no forcibly returned refugees will be subjected to persecution. He said that those responsible for the forced repatriation of refugees will bear complete legal and moral responsibility for any harm that may happen to them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)