The Coordinator of the Office of Refugee Affairs in the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Salim Idris, delivered a comprehensive report on the office’s activities over the past two months. He addressed the conditions of Syrian refugees in Iraq, Lebanon, Türkiye, and other countries, as well as the efforts taken to support and monitor their well-being.
Idris expressed concern over the recent deportation of three Syrian refugees by the Iraqi government, who were handed over to the Assad regime, highlighting the Iraqi government’s non-compliance with international laws. He also raised the issue of dozens of Syrians, including women, being detained at a prison in Baghdad International Airport by Iraqi authorities.
Regarding Syrian refugees residing in earthquake-hit areas in Türkiye, Idris urged the renewal of travel permits for those who had relocated to other Turkish provinces. He emphasized the importance of providing prefabricated housing to Syrian refugees whose homes were destroyed by the earthquake.
Furthermore, Idris stressed the need to address the deportation of refugees with Turkish authorities and the alarming disinformation and racist campaigns against Syrian refugees by certain individuals and parties within the Turkish opposition. He expressed concern that these actions were contributing to the inflamed Turkish public opinion towards refugees.
The report also shed light on the Lebanese government’s plans to return Syrian refugees in agreement with the Assad regime and highlighted the issue of handing over Syrian prisoners in Lebanon to the regime. It also noted the Lebanese authorities’ intensified campaigns to detain and deport Syrian refugees, as well as their obstruction of the UNHCR program to distribute cash aid.
Regarding the tragic sinking of a boat carrying refugees off the Greek coast, the report mentioned that the SOC sent official letters to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Greek government. The office also provided media support to the volunteer team following up on the matter in Greece as well as sent the SOC’s representatives in Europe to Greece in order to follow up on the matter.
The report also addressed the challenging conditions of displaced individuals in northern Syria, highlighting issues such as food and water shortages, the state of education after the February earthquake, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and the lack of access to proper medical treatment for cancer patients in Türkiye.
In conclusion, the report offered several recommendations, including taking necessary actions concerning Iraq’s handover of Syrian refugees to the Assad regime, implementing demands related to the boat disaster, and urging the Syrian Interim Government to take measures to alleviate the suffering of displaced persons. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)