The head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Media and Communications, Ahmad Ramadan, called on the United Nations to launch an official, urgent investigation into Lebanon’s deportation of Syrian refugees from Beirut airport to the Assad regime-held territories. He warned that the lives of the deportees would be at serious risk of torture and execution.
“Nearly 74 percent of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon do not have valid residence permits due to the intransigence of the Lebanese authorities which are dominated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia,” Ramadan said in comments on Twitter on Friday.
Rights activists also denounced the eviction of Syrian refugees from their homes by the Beirut municipal police without prior notice. They described these recent evictions as “unfair.”
Activists on Saturday started a petition on the global rights movement Avaaz to stop the deportation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.
Organizers of the campaign cited remarks by Syrian rights activist Anwar al-Bunni who said that “the Lebanese authorities, and those racists behind them, are seeking to put increasing pressure on Syrian refugees to achieve their goals having failed with their attempts, along with the Russian criminal Putin, to provide international cover for the handing over of Syrian refugees to the murderer Bashar al-Assad.”
According to the petition, the Lebanese Ministry of Interior issued a decision to remove Syrian refugees’ camps and settlements without taking any action to shelter them elsewhere. More than 1,400 Syrian households are now at the risk of being left out in the open, the petition said, adding that the armed militias in Lebanon were given a free hand to harass Syrian refugees, especially activists, and hand them over to the Assad regime.
Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, on Friday said: “Lebanese authorities shouldn’t deport anyone to Syria without first allowing them a fair opportunity to argue their case for protection and ensuring that they don’t face a real risk of persecution, torture, or other serious harm.”
HRW stressed that “Lebanon is also bound by the customary international law principle of nonrefoulement not to return refugees to places where they would be persecuted or to expose anyone to a real risk of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or threat to their life.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)