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 burning of refugee camps, the detention of refugees, and the handover of refugees to the Assad regime is further evidence of a systematic and escalating policy that may further escalate into “mass deportation of Syrian refugees.”
The statement stressed that this campaign is poisoning the entire internal environment, which is already plagued by sectarian strife being fueled by populist leaders, especially by FM Gibran Bassil. The direct attacks and intimidation of the Syrian refugees risk harming the image of our country as a place for oppression and enslavement. Such acts contradict the reputation of Lebanon as a “country of radiation and light” and “a haven for the oppressed people.”
The signatories to the statement warned of grave consequences of the racist campaign against the Syrian refugees. It said that such campaign risked opening a very ugly chapter in the modern history of Lebanon and in the Lebanese-Syrian relations and, above all, in our humanity.
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. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)