We, at the Free Syrian Lawyers Association – FSLA, express our deep concern about the continued human rights violations and deportations affecting Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The situation has taken a disturbing turn, with increasing reports of forced deportations, violations, discrimination, and targeting of Syrian refugees in different regions of the country.
Lebanon has generously hosted a large number of Syrian refugees since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict. However, recent actions by some authorities, including closing medical facilities serving refugees, arbitrary detentions, and forcible deportations, violate international human rights laws and the principle of non-refoulement. This principle prohibits the forced return of refugees to a country where their life or freedom would be in danger. The precarious situation facing these refugees requires immediate attention and action from the international community, humanitarian organizations, and the Lebanese government.
Forced deportations have endangered the lives of deported refugees, with many facing persecution, violence, or even the risk of extrajudicial killings or psychological and physical torture. The situation is especially appalling for Syrian political dissidents or military personnel who defected or deserted from military service in Syria and are threatened with deportation while detained in Lebanese prisons. Moreover, Syrian-Palestinian refugees face greater challenges, as they lack proper registration, residency, and access to resettlement programs.
The recent increase in raids on Syrian refugee sites, arbitrary arrests, and deportations reveals a systematic campaign targeting this vulnerable population. These measures violate international law and human rights principles, including non-refoulement, which prohibit the return of refugees to countries where their lives or freedom may be threatened, whether the threat comes from a state or non-state actors.
We call on the Lebanese government to:
Immediately stop all forced deportations of Syrian refugees and ensure that any resettlement process should be is voluntary, safe, and dignified, in line with international human rights standards and relevant international resolutions.
End the arbitrary arrest and detention of Syrian refugees and provide them with due process guarantees.
Respect and support the rights of refugees, including their right to security, access to basic services, and protection from discrimination and abuse.
Address the conditions of detainees in Lebanese prisons, including overcrowding, poor food, and inadequate health and humanitarian services, and ensure that all detainees are treated humanely and in accordance with international standards.
Investigate and address issues of violations, discrimination, and violations against Syrian refugees, and hold perpetrators accountable.
Ensure that Syrian refugees have access to legal representation and a fair legal process in cases involving possible deportation or other human rights violations.
Work with the international community, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to provide the necessary support and resources to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
We urge the international community to:
Provide financial, technical, and legal support to Lebanon to help meet the needs of Syrian refugees and ensure their protection and welfare.
Defend the rights of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and urge the Lebanese government to abide by international human rights standards.
Increase resettlement opportunities and humanitarian admission for Syrian refugees, particularly for the most vulnerable, including those facing imminent deportation.
Engage in diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of the Syrian conflict and work towards a sustainable and comprehensive political solution.
Monitor and document violations against Syrian refugees in Lebanon and share this information with relevant organizations to raise awareness and strengthen advocacy efforts.
We stand in solidarity with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and are committed to defending their rights, protection, and dignity. We call on all stakeholders to work together to ensure the well-being and safety of these vulnerable individuals and to prevent further human rights violations and deportations.