Ten Lebanese civil society organizations launched a campaign against racism and to show solidarity with the Syrian refugees and their rights in Lebanon. They slammed the fueling of hostility and hatred against refugees as they called for respect for international conventions and treaties and the enhancement of the contribution of refugees to the Lebanese economy.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the NGOs said that the hate speech is leading to more violence against refugees and displaced persons. “The past few weeks have witnessed several incidents, such as the deportation of refugees, the burning of tents, intimidating workers, incitement of hatred against vulnerable individuals and the erection of checkpoints by civilians telling Syrian refugees to leave.”
Dozens of Lebanese intellectuals, journalists and rights activists on Tuesday issued a statement denouncing the racist campaign against the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They said that the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil is leading this “hysteria campaign.”
The statement said that the racist campaign is targeting people who were displaced from their country as a result of the brutality of the Assad regime. It noted that a component of the Lebanese government has been aiding the Assad regime in the displacement of Syrian civilians for the past few years.
The campaign, in which some of the local municipalities are involved, is accompanied by political, administrative and security measures by the Lebanese state. The statement described these measures as arbitrary and designed to humiliate the Syrian refugees and turn their lives into a living hell.
The signatories demanded the filing of complaints at law courts as they urged human rights organizations to take action to stop the campaigns targeting the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They also stressed the importance of respecting the laws that criminalize racism
The Lebanese authorities have recently issued a decision to deport Syrian refugees who illegally entered Lebanon after April 24, 2019. Human rights activists said that the decision violated of the Lebanese constitution.
The Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Refugee Affairs Amal Sheikho said that the Lebanese authorities have taken “unprecedented measures against the Syrian refugees,” citing the targeting of defecting Syrian army officers in preparation for their handover to the regime.
The Department has recently held meetings with lawyers, journalists, activists and politicians concerned about the affairs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It discussed with them the violations against refugees and ways to take legal action to put an end to such violations and provide protection for refugees and restore their rights.
Sheikho stressed that the responsibility for the safety of Syrian refugees lies with the Lebanese authorities, calling on the United Nations to launch an urgent investigation and follow up on the cases to prevent the deportation of Syrianb refugees to the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)