President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr Al-Hariri, sent a legal memorandum to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, regarding the burning of a camp for Syrian refugees in the town of Minya in Lebanon.
Al-Hariri said that the fire destroyed the entire camp, which includes about 75 Syrian families – most of them are children and women, who became homeless in the bitter cold. Dozens of them suffered various burns, some of them serious, and were subsequently transferred to hospitals.
He stressed that “the racist and inflammatory speech against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, linked to the permanent and deliberate behavior of some leaders and sectors of the Lebanese authorities allied with the Assad regime, causes a number of successive and repeated crimes, which deepens the pre-state logic in solving problems, where revenge, the absence of the rule of law and the lack of the prestige of the judiciary.”
Moreover, Al-Hariri said that “some agencies in the Lebanese authorities continuously clamp down on the Syrians who are on its territory and, leaving them to live in difficult humanitarian and living conditions, and the majority of them live in camps that lack the necessary humanitarian standards for dignity and life, and they are repeatedly subjected to hostile acts, some of which amount to crimes against humanity.”
He expressed “great appreciation for the human magnanimity shown by a wide spectrum of politicians and the brotherly Lebanese people in offering their homes and their assistance to secure accommodation for the refugees whose tents were burnt. He also expressed “highest gratitude to the people of Minya, Tripoli and the whole of northern Lebanon for embracing and assisting the Syrian refugees, and for their condemnation of the crime of burning the camp and its perpetrators.”
“The responsibility to protect the Syrian refugees fleeing with their lives and the lives of their children from the Assad regime to Lebanon is a common responsibility of the Lebanese authorities and the international community based on international covenants and norms.”
Al-Hariri called for taking “urgent measures to accommodate and financially and morally compensate those affected by the recent events in Minya. He also called on the Lebanese authorities to refer the perpetrators of this crime against the Syrian refugees in Minya to an impartial and independent judiciary.
Moreover, Al-Hariri called on the Lebanese officials associated with the Assad regime to stop making any racist statements that incite violence and hatred, and to hold those responsible for these statements and actions accountable.
He stressed the need for the Lebanese state to fulfill its international obligations and take all necessary measures to protect the Syrian refugees on its territory through and by respecting all international covenants on human rights and refugee rights. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)