Stop forced repatriation of Syrian refugees, Amnesty urges Lebanon
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International urged Lebanon's government on Tuesday to end the forced deportation of Syrian refugees, where they face arrest, torture and death at the hands of security forces.
The advocacy group made the call after it had obtained an official communication that reportedly showed that Lebanon had forcibly returned 2,500 Syrian refugees over the past three months.
"We urge the Lebanese authorities to stop these deportations as a matter of urgency, and the Higher Defense Council to cancel its related decision," Amnesty International's Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf, said in a statement.
"We urge the Lebanese authorities to stop these deportations as a matter of urgency, and the Higher Defense Council to cancel its related decision."
"As long as independent monitoring bodies are not allowed access to Syria - including the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria – in order to assess the security situation for the safe return of refugees, there is no way of determining whether returnees would be at real risk of serious human rights violations once back in Syria," Maalouf said.
"In the meantime, while risks upon return cannot be determined, any attempts to forcibly return refugees is a clear violation of Lebanon’s non-refoulement obligations."