Syrian and Lebanese rights activists expressed outrage over the death of Syrian child Ahmed al-Zoabi who fell off a high building while trying to flee from the Lebanese police in the Lebanese capital Beruit. The activist criticized the barbaric behavior of the Lebanese policemen which they said led to the death of the child.
“The child Ahmed al-Zoabi is a Syrian refugee who has his rights. The Lebanese judiciary must carry out its duty to conduct an investigation into the incident; arrest those who were involved; and mete out the most severe punishment to all those who were involved,” Lebanese lawyer Tariq Shandab said in comments he posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Nobody should forget that the Syrian refugees came to Lebanon to flee the terror of Lebanese militias who went to Syria; forced the Syrian civilians out of their homes; killed their men; and kidnapped their women,” Shandab added.
Online activists and eyewitness accounts by residents of the area where the incident took place confirmed that the Syrian child used to work as a shoe shiner in Tallet al-Khayat Street in Beirut’s to help his father support his family of his six daughters and three sons. They said that the municipal police members consistently chased down the child to arrest him.
Activists quoted Ahmad’s family as saying that the Lebanese security forces prevented the family from filming the body of their son in an attempt to cover up the crime and to prevent the family from accusing the police of causing his death. The family said that their son was pushed off the high building as it called for investigating the policemen who were involved in the incident.
Lebanese and Syrian human rights activists took to social media to express outrage over the behavior of the municipal police in Beirut towards the people in general and the Syrian refugees in particular. They accused the Lebanese police of racist behavior towards the Syrian refugees.
The Syrian Coalition, meanwhile, called for the launch of a serious, transparent investigation into the incident and disclose all details surrounding the incident including the reviewing of the CCTV footage.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Coalition stressed the need to verify any possible violation by any party amounting to responsibility for this incident and hold to account all those who are directly or indirectly involved in the incident.
The family of the 14-year-old boy told BBC that they found his body three days after his death in a building in Tallet al-Khayat Street where he fell off the six floor while trying to escape the police.
In a recent report on the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon in 2018, the UNHCR, the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that 69 percent of Syrian households in Lebanon live below the poverty line. They warned that their situation is still precarious. (Source: the Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)