News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Monday, May 12, 2014

[Lebanon]: The Guardian - Lebanon accused of turning away some Palestinian Syrian refugees

Picture belonging to the same blog: © Bill Hussein/AP - Syrian refugees in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal in December. Photograph

Rights group says Lebanon, which has taken in one million refugees from Syria, is arbitrarily refusing entry for some arrivals.

Human Rights Watch and a UN refugee agency have expressed concern that Lebanon is blocking Palestinians fleeing Syria from entering the country.

UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said it was "concerned about the increased restrictions on Palestine refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria from entering Lebanon".

Its spokesman, Chris Gunness, said in a statement: "We are monitoring the situation on the border carefully and have been given assurances by the Lebanese authorities that these restrictions are temporary."

Human Rights Watch criticized Lebanon for refusing entry for Palestinians from Syria and forcibly returning them to the war-torn country. It accused Beirut of arbitrarily denying entry, and documented the deportation of around 40 Palestinians accused of having forged documents.

Beirut has not announced a blanket ban on the entry of Palestinians from Syria, but government sources confirmed there was a general policy to keep out Palestinians fleeing the conflict.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one source said the government felt Palestinian refugees registered in Syria should stay there, pointing out that Lebanon already had more than one million Syrian refugees.