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Amnesty International calls on General Security not to deport Syrians detained at Beirut airport

Amnesty International calls on General Security not to deport Syrians detained at Beirut airport

A view inside the Beirut airport, where three Syrian men were detained while trying to fly out to Belarus. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT – Amnesty International called on Lebanon's General Security on Thursday not to deport three Syrian men who were arrested earlier this month at Beirut International airport and have been held incommunicado since then.

Here’s what we know:

    • A statement released by the rights group called on General Security head Abbas Ibrahim to “ensure these three men are not deported to Syria as no part of the country is currently safe for returns, and that they [are either] released or charged with a crime recognized under international law."

    • General Security detained three young Syrian men – Ahmad al-Waked, Tarek al-Aalu, and Fares al-Zoubi – who were trying to fly to Belarus via Beirut airport earlier this month, an increasingly popular route among Syrian refugees attempting to get asylum in Europe, as the Belarusian government has been willing to give them tourist visas. The men are now being held incommunicado without having been charged with a crime.

    • A human rights lawyer has been attempting to follow up on the cases, but General Security has denied his requests to meet the men or obtain signed power of attorney documents from them, the statement said. Separately, attorney Mohammad Sablouh told L’Orient Today that he has filed a court complaint over General Security’s handling of the cases. A General Security spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

    • General Security informed the lawyer that Waked and Aalu were both being detained at their Information unit, while Zoubi was transferred to the Lebanese Army Military Police, the Amnesty statement said. However, the army later told the lawyer Zoubi was not in their custody and his whereabouts is currently unknown.

    • Ahmad al-Aalu, whose brother Tarek is one of the detainees, told L'Orient Today previously that his sibling and the two other men, all from Daraa, had been smuggled into Lebanon around two months ago, because they were wanted for army service and would have been arrested had they tried to leave via an official crossing.

    • This news follows the arrest of six Syrian men in August, who were detained outside their country's embassy in Lebanon under circumstances that remain unknown. The Lebanese Army said that the detainees had entered the country illegally and were handed over to General Security. Initial reports said the men had been kidnapped from the embassy, which the embassy has denied.

    • Although Ibrahim has said publicly that the six men would not be deported, the Amnesty statement noted that they are still in detention.


BEIRUT – Amnesty International called on Lebanon's General Security on Thursday not to deport three Syrian men who were arrested earlier this month at Beirut International airport and have been held incommunicado since then.Here’s what we know:    • A statement released by the rights group called on General Security head Abbas Ibrahim to “ensure these three men are not deported...