HAC Condemns Lebanese Government’s Human Rights Violations Against Syrian Refugees

Credit: (France Press Agency)

 The Humanitarian Action Coordination Office (HAC), an Idlib-based non-profit institution, that serves as a central point of contact between international humanitarian coordination platforms and the implementing agencies in northwest Syria, has issued a condemnation of the Lebanese government’s recent actions against Syrian refugees. The HAC’s official statement highlights severe breaches of international law and human rights, emphasizing the profound risks faced by Syrians forcibly deported back to Assad regime-controlled areas.

The document released in both, Arabic and English, stresses that since the Syrian revolution began in 2011, the nation has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions. The Assad regime’s brutal crackdown has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions both within Syria and across its borders. Refugees fleeing this violence have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Lebanon, where they often endure dire living conditions and frequent discrimination.

The HAC’s statement points out the critical dangers faced by refugees forcibly returned to Syria. In areas controlled by the Assad regime and its allies, deportees are at significant risk of persecution, arbitrary arrest, torture, and even enforced disappearance. The principle of non-refoulement, a cornerstone of international refugee law, prohibits the return of refugees to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened.

The HAC draws attention to several key international legal provisions violated by Lebanon’s actions, namely the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Articles 32 and 33, forbidding the expulsion or return of a refugee to territories where their life or freedom would be threatened due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. Additionally, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which bars any state from expelling, returning, or extraditing a person to another state where they would likely face enforced disappearance.

The statement categorically declares that these actions constitute blatant violations of international law and humanitarian principles. The HAC urges the Lebanese government to immediately halt all practices that forcibly return Syrian refugees to unsafe areas and to respect its obligations under international treaties to protect the rights and lives of refugees.

The office calls on international organizations, particularly the UN and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to take decisive action. It demands that these bodies implement measures to safeguard the dignity and security of refugees in Lebanon and hold the Lebanese government responsible for actions that endanger Syrian refugees.

Through its statement, the Humanitarian Action Coordination Office seeks to rally the international community to protect Syrian refugees from the severe threats posed by forced deportations. The HAC emphasizes the urgent need for adherence to international humanitarian laws to ensure that those fleeing violence and persecution can find safety and dignity in their host countries.


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