Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
September 3, 2022
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) points out that the Lebanese government’s plan to forcibly deport Syrian refugees to the Assad regime’s areas will risk paving the way for a major crime against the deportees in view of the Assad regime’s well-known policy of arresting, killing and torturing everyone who opposed its rule or left its areas.
The SOC calls on the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Arab League to take immediate action to prevent an imminent crime against tens of thousands of Syrian refugees should the Lebanese government start implementing its plan. The SOC also calls on the Lebanese government to respect the international laws that require the protection of refugees and the safeguarding of their rights. It also holds it responsible for any harm that may happen to the deportees.
The whole world has seen through Caesar’s photos, the video of Al-Tadamon Massacre and thousands of other evidence how the Assad regime treats the Syrian people. The deportees will only meet this fate as the Assad regime considers asylum a guilt that deserves to be punished by arrest, as was the case with thousands of returnees.
The claim that the regime-held areas are safe is false and unrealistic as these areas cannot be safe with the Assad regime and its militias in power. Indeed, millions of Syrian civilians are still living in dire conditions in refugee and IDP camps and refuse to return to their homes for fear of the criminality of the Assad regime, and their belief that this regime is illegitimate and does not represent Syria and its people. Syrian refugees can only return when the Assad regime is held accountable and a political transition is achieved in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.