Anti-Syrian sentiment | Lebanese politicians lead systematic campaign for forcibly deporting Syrians from Lebanon
SOHR renews appeals to stop forcible deportation of Syrians from Lebanon and put an end to racist campaigns
Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been struggling with the growing anti-Syrian sentiment by Lebanese politicians and ongoing campaigns designed to forcibly deport Syrians from Lebanon. Meanwhile, the international community keeps turning a blind eye to violations committed against hundreds of thousands of Syrians who will face unknown fate, in the case of being deported to regime-controlled areas.
It seems that all Lebanese politicians have agreed on the legitimacy of the Syrian regime, at its order, as if regime-controlled areas have become safe and Syrian regime opponents are not prosecuted by regime security services anymore.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) emphasises that regime-controlled areas are not safe for the forcibly deported Syrians, as the Syrian regime has been still clinging to the policy of security oppression and continues its random arrest campaigns on a daily basis under different pretexts and fabricated accusations. The ongoing immigration and displacement of civilians from regime-controlled areas prove that Syrians desire to flee from repression practiced by the regime authorities in these areas, and there are hundreds of thousands of civilians who dream to leave regime-controlled areas but their poverty and dreadful living conditions have prevented them from doing so.
Of course no Syrian refugee has chosen to leave Syria and Syrians are not happy with staying away from their homeland, but all dramatic events and developments which Syria has experienced since 2011, with the head of the Syrian regime clinging to power, have forced them to seek refuge at other countries. Those refugees, who have been already fled from the regime authorities’ oppression, would for sure be arrested, tortured and killed in the case of being forcibly deported to areas controlled by the Syrian regime.
We, at SOHR, renew our appeals to the international community to protect Syrians in Lebanon and put an end to the systematic campaigns to forcibly deport Syrians to Syrian regime-controlled areas.
It is worth noting that the Lebanese authorities have deported hundreds of Syrians since early April, many of whom were arrested by the Syrian regime security services.
Lebanese officials had called the Lebanese people to take part in the “demographic occupation of Lebanon,” as they described, while the General Federation of the Lebanese labour unions has launched a campaign dubbed “the National Campaign for Liberation of Lebanon from the Syrian Demographic Occupation.”
Those who are in charge of this campaign called upon the Lebanese government to:
- Deport a million Syrian refugees immediately to their areas which have become safe, as they have claimed.
- Deport all Syrians involved in crimes, both those who have passed their imprisonment penalties and those who are still in prison.
- Deport all Syrians who have come to Lebanon and withdraw the refugee status of every Syrian citizen.
They also called upon the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to disclose all figures related to Syrian refuges in Lebanon.
On the other hand, the Labour Union Federation accused Syrian refugees of “contributing in stealing water and electricity allocated for the Lebanese and polluting earth, water, Lebanese culture and morality.”
It is worth noting that hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled to Lebanon since 2011, while the Lebanese Hezbollah’s support to Al-Assad’s regime to oppress public protests has worsened the situation further.
There are nearly two million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, which is struggling with dire economic situation for years, nearly 830,000 of whom are registered by the United Nations, according to local authorities.