Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
September 16, 2023
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) strongly condemns the recent violations perpetrated by Lebanese authorities against Syrian refugees, particularly the confirmed reports of refugee arrests within a new campaign targeting Syrian refugees in Lebanon. These refugees have been subjected to insults, physical abuse, destruction of private property and solar panels, as well as confiscation of communication devices in areas such as Baalbek, Zahle, and West Bekaa.
The SOC urgently calls for direct and immediate intervention by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relevant UN organizations to rescue Syrian refugees and prevent an imminent tragedy. In the event of the refugees being deported to regime-held areas, it is crucial to note that numerous reports and investigations have consistently shown that forcibly deported refugees face arrest, torture, and, in many cases, even death.
Furthermore, the SOC calls upon the Lebanese government to immediately cease this campaign and adhere to international law and humanitarian values and principles. These principles guarantee refugees the right to safe living conditions, access to education and healthcare, and protection against forced deportation.
It is essential to recognize that the presence of Syrians in Lebanon is not voluntary, as thousands of families were displaced to Lebanon due to the atrocities committed by Lebanese Hezbollah militias in collaboration with Assad’s forces and Iranian militias. These crimes occurred in the Qusayr region and various areas of Damascus and Homs provinces. Furthermore, Syria remains an unsafe environment for refugee returns, especially under the continued presence of the Assad regime. Any efforts to forcibly deport refugees from Lebanon would constitute participation in an inevitable crime.