Lebanon should stop deporting refugees back to Syria: Amnesty International
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Lebanese authorities must immediately stop forcibly deporting refugees back to Syria, Amnesty International said on Monday.
This comes amid fears that deported Syrians are at risk of torture or persecution at the hands of the Syrian government upon their return.
Last week, the Lebanese Armed Forces raided houses occupied by Syrian families in different locations across the country and deported dozens of refugees to Syria for entering the country illegally or holding expired residency cards.
“It is extremely alarming to see the army deciding the fate of refugees, without respecting due process of law for those facing deportation.” These refugees are not allowed to challenge their removal in court or to seek protection, said Aya Majzoub, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa in a statement.
“No refugee should be sent back to a place where their life will be at risk,” she said. “Lebanon is obligated under the fundamental principle of international law of non-refoulement—the practice of not returning refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they would likely face torture or persecution.”
She stressed that refugees living in Lebanon should be protected from arbitrary raids and unlawful deportations, rather than living in fear after escaping atrocities in Syria.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups have documented grave human rights abuses faced by refugees returning to Syria, that included torture and enforced disappearance, at the hands of the Syrian government.