Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Lebanon: Alkarama commends Lebanon release of wrongfully-detained Syrian refugees

Lebanon: Alkarama commends Lebanon release of
wrongfully-detained Syrian refugees

24 June 2011

All Syrian refugees detained by the Lebanese authorities for
being in the country illegally have been released this week. Following their
release, Prime Minister Mikati declared on Arab television channel Al-Arabiya
that his government will "look at the issue of Syrian refugees … from a
purely humanitarian angle, away from politics".

Alkarama had raised its concerns about the situation
of Syrian refugees arrested and illegally detained by the Lebanese security
forces on 30 May 2011
. Concerns raised with the United Nations
included the risk that those found guilty would be forcibly returned to Syria,
where they might have been at risk of torture.  This would have been in
violation of Lebanon’s international obligations relating to refugee
protection.

Alkarama commends the Lebanese authorities for this action,
which the local population and international community had called for. In
releasing Syrian refugees, Lebanon has respected its international obligations
regarding the rights of refugees and ban on refoulement laid out in
international customary law and the Convention against Torture ratified by
Lebanon.

We hope that the Lebanese authorities will continue this
positive trend, and we now call on the recently-named Government to allow for
the visit of the Human Rights Council-mandate Fact-Finding Mission on Syria to
the country.

Alkarama will continue to monitor the situation of the
Syrian refugee population in Lebanon and ensure their rights as refugees,
established in various international conventions, are fully respected. Any
transgressions of these rights falling under Alkarama’s mandate will be
transmitted to the United Nations human rights protection mechanisms as a
matter of priority.