8 NGOs Demand Lebanon to 'Stop Deporting' Syria's Palestinian Refugeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Civil society on Tuesday called on Lebanese authorities to “immediately stop the deportation” of Palestinian refugees fleeing war-stricken Syria.
Eight non-governmental organizations concerned with human rights signed a petition urging Lebanese authorities to “immediately stop deporting (Palestinian refugees) to Syria,” reported the state-run National News Agency.
The petition referred to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stresses everyone's right to “seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
"While it is easy for Syrians to reach Lebanese territories and escape the bloody conflict in their country, several reports point out to procedures adopted to prevent Palestinians in Syria from arriving and staying in Lebanon,” the petition stated.
It continued: “What is even worse is that many Palestinians were expelled from Lebanon and sent to Syria on May 4, 2014, and this is a violation of Article 3 of the United Nations Convention against Torture, which Lebanon has signed.”
The NGOs then demanded Lebanese authorities to “grant Palestinians coming from Syria the same rights that Syrians enjoy.”
They also called on them to respect their international commitments related to human rights.
The petition was signed by the Euro Mediterranean Federation Against Enforced Disappearances, the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network, the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, Lebanon's Anti-Racism Movement, Al Karama Foundation, the Palestinian Human Rights Foundation, France's Action by Christians Against Torture and Working Together for Human Rights.
Earlier in May, Human Rights Watch and a U.N. refugee agency expressed concern that Lebanon was blocking Palestinians fleeing Syria from entering the country.
UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said it was "concerned about the increased restrictions on Palestine refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria from entering Lebanon."
HRW, meanwhile, criticized Lebanon for refusing entry to Palestinians from Syria and returning them to the war-torn country.
It accused Lebanese authorities of "arbitrarily" denying entry and documented the deportation of around 40 Palestinians accused of having forged documents.
Lebanon has not announced a blanket ban on the entry of Palestinians from Syria, but government sources have confirmed a general policy to keep out Palestinians fleeing the conflict.
Among the more than one million refugees from Syria registered in Lebanon are around 52,000 Palestinian Syrians.