Sleiman: No Syrian will be deported to Syria
February 7, 2013
President Michel Suleiman made it clear on Thursday that no syrian will be deported to his home country in conformance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The instructions are not to deport any Syrian to Syria in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Suleiman said on twitter.
His tweet comes after a military court in Lebanon ordered the extradition of a Syrian officer-turned-rebel who entered the country illegally back to his own embattled country.
The defector risks the death penalty for treason if he is actually handed over to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Lebanese human rights organisations warned.
A military court sentenced Lieutenant Mohammed Hassan Tlass to two months in prison which he has already served, a fine of 100,000 Lebanese pounds ($67) and his extradition, a judicial source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
During his trial, the 30-year-old said he was a member of the rebel Free Syrian Army and had entered Lebanon to bring a wounded comrade to safety.
His tweet came in response to a call by non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch for the Lebanese government to keep its open border policy so those fleeing Syria can safely enter Lebanon.
Suleiman’s tweet was also in response to a call by non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch for the Lebanese government to keep its open border policy so those fleeing Syria can safely enter Lebanon.
HRW also urged it to “maintain a policy of not deporting anyone to Syria while the conflict there continues.
“The government should stop detaining Syrian or other refugees for being in the country illegally.” HRW stressed
The call came during a press conference was held in Beirut on Thursday for its World Report 2013.
“Lebanon deported 14 Syrians back to Syria in August, four of whom said they feared persecution upon return,” the report said.
It also said that many displaced Syrians report feeling insecure, particularly following the string of kidnappings and other retaliatory attacks in August for the abduction of Hassan Meqdad, a Lebanese, by armed rebels in Syria.
It said Lebanon failed to enact needed reforms in 2012 to stem abuse during arrest and detention, promote women’s rights, and protect migrants and refugees.
Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW, said at the press conference that the “government and parliament missed opportunities to advance human rights last year by sitting on, or rejecting, key reforms and proposals.”
“Candidates for the 2013 elections should make clear where they stand on key human rights issues, and how they intend to follow through,” he said.