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)