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DEPORTATIONS

Deportation of six detained Syrians suspended pending review of lawyer’s appeal

Deportation of six detained Syrians suspended pending review of lawyer’s appeal

A bus transports Syrian refugees from Lebanon back to Syria in 2018. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — Lebanese General Security has suspended the planned deportation of six Syrian men until Court of Cassation Public Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat rules on a motion filed by the detainees’ lawyer to reverse the deportation order, the lawyer told LOrient Today.

Here’s what we know:

    • The detainees — identified in the court filing as Toufic al-Haji, Ammar Qazah, Mohammed al-Waked, Mohammed Abdelillah, Ibrahim al-Shammari and Ahmad al-Eid — were arrested in front of the Syrian Embassy in Baabda last month and turned over to General Security, which started proceedings to deport them to Syria unless they could leave Lebanon for a third country. Their ability to travel was blocked, however, because their passports remained at the embassy, according to the men’s attorney, Mohammed Sablouh.

    • Human rights groups raised alarms about the potential deportation, particularly because several of the men are known opposition activists from Daraa, the site of recent battles between government forces and rebels. In a motion filed before Oueidat, Sablouh argued that deporting the men would violate Lebanese law as well as the United Nations Convention Against Torture, to which Lebanon is a signatory, because it “will expose them to the risk of beatings, torture and death.”

    • On Wednesday, the deadline set by General Security for the men to depart or be deported, Sablouh said he and relatives of the detainees had been able to retrieve one of the passports and were working to get the others. Meanwhile, he said General Security had halted the deportation proceedings until Oueidat rules on the case. A General Security spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

  •  A spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency said in a statement that under Lebanese law, deportation orders should undergo a legal review before they are carried out.  We are therefore discussing with the Lebanese authorities the importance of an independent judicial (or administrative) review of any claims that individuals falling within the scope of the decision may have, before a decision on deportation is taken, to ensure that no refugee in need of international protection is deported,” she said.


BEIRUT — Lebanese General Security has suspended the planned deportation of six Syrian men until Court of Cassation Public Prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat rules on a motion filed by the detainees’ lawyer to reverse the deportation order, the lawyer told L’Orient Today.Here’s what we know:    • The detainees — identified in the court filing as Toufic al-Haji, Ammar Qazah,...