Dozens of Syrians 'expelled' from Lebanon in lead up to Eid

Dozens of Syrians 'expelled' from Lebanon in lead up to Eid
Unnamed security services said about 50 Syrians were deported over the last two weeks.
2 min read
21 April, 2023
Lebanon has floated various plans to return Syrian refugees to Syria as anti-Syrian sentiment is on the rise, but no plans have resulted in significant numbers of returns. [Getty]

Dozens of Syrians have been deported from Lebanon to Syria AFP reported on Friday, where some face imminent danger upon return.

Unnamed security sources told the French agency that the "more than 50 Syrians" had been deported from Lebanon in the past two weeks. 

One of the Syrians was reportedly a defected army officer and his relatives fear that his life is in danger from Syrian authorities.

The spokesperson for the Lebanese Armed Force (LAF) declined to comment on the reports of deportation when asked by The New Arab.

"Article 3 of the International Convention Against Torture prevents any country from deporting someone to a country where he is at risk of torture … This is the case of 80 percent of Syrians," Wadih al-Asmar, the president of the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, told TNA.

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Syrian refugees have regularly faced torture, sexual violence and enforced disappearance upon return to Syria.

According to al-Asmar, those who have avoided military conscription are even more vulnerable than others as they can be jailed for avoiding army service.

Lebanon hosts around 2 million refugees which have fled the brutal violence of Syria's civil war since 2011.

Anti-Syrian sentiment has been on the rise in the country as the financial burden of hosting refugees has increased, particularly in the context of Lebanon’s economic crisis over the last three years.

The international community has consistently failed to provide adequate funding for refugee assistance projects in Lebanon.

In 2021, UNHCR reported a US$535 million funding gap in its programming.

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The Lebanese government has floated various plans to return Syrian refugees in Lebanon to Syria, with former president Michel Aoun saying he would coordinate with Syria over the matter in the fall of 2022.

However, these plans have not resulted in a significant amount of Syrians going back to Syria, as refugees did not sign up to voluntarily return, fearing reprisal in Syria.

Agencies contributed to this report.