Forced Return of Syrians by Lebanon Unsafe and Unlawful
The alarming news, which would be a clear breach of Lebanon’s international obligations, is being done without the involvement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Charafeddine said authorities planned to go ahead nonetheless, and asked UNHCR to suspend assistance to those selected for return.
Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine announced a government plan this week to begin returning 15,000 Syrian refugees to Syria a month, saying: “The war was over and the country has become safe.”
Contrary to the minster’s statements, Syria is anything but safe for returnees. Syrian refugees who returned between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias.