The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Department of Refugee Affairs held a regular meeting to assess the general situation of Syrian refugees in the diaspora, especially in Greece, Lebanon, Somalia and the European Union.
The meeting brought together member of the political committee and Coordinator of the Department of Refugee Affairs, Amal Sheikho, and members of the Department Adnan Rahmoun, Zakaria Malahifji, Walid Ibrahim, and Imad Barho.
Participants in the meeting stressed that the root cause of the refugee crisis is the Assad regime, Russia and Iran who displaced two-thirds of the Syrian people over the past nine years.
Malahifji said that the situation of Syrian refugees and prisoners in Lebanon is on top of the SOC’s list of priorities, especially in view of the reports about an outbreak of coronavirus in Lebanese prisons.
He pointed out that the SOC sent many letters to the international community and international organizations to urge meeting the needs of prisoners, especially those infected with coronavirus.
He also said that the SOC launched a political and diplomatic campaign to draw attention to the plight of prisoners in Lebanese prisons and to look into the charges made against them.
Rahmoun said that the SOC has recently been documenting the racist attacks that targeted asylum seekers in Greece, adding that the SOC sent a legal memorandum to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi regarding these attacks. The memo called for providing asylum seekers with protection and urged the Greek government to respect international resolutions on treatment of arrivals in transit countries.
Regarding the Syrian refugees in Somalia, Rahmoun said that the SOC has been communicating with the Syrian refugees from the moment they arrived in Somalia. It has also been communicating with the Somali government to look into ways to meet their needs and help them move to the capital, Mogadishu.
With regard to Syrian refugees in the European Union countries, Sheikho said that the SOC sent an urgent letter to the Danish government after it received complaints from Syrian refugees about problems in renewing their residency permits. The letter also called on the Danish government to reconsider the recent decision to deport Syrian refugees.
Participants stressed that a radical solution to the issue of Syrian refugees can only be achieved through a genuine political solution and the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 paving the way for a safe, neutral environment for the voluntary return of refugees. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)