HRW: Syrian refugees who returned home are risking abuse and persecution
The Yahoo news reported according to Reuters, a report from the NGO Human Rights Watch is saying that Syrian refugees who have returned home are risking abuse and persecution, including torture and killings.
The report, released on Wednesday (October 20), documented 65 cases of arrest, arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearances between 2017 and 2021 among those returned from Lebanon and Jordan.
Sara Kayyali, Syrian researcher for the rights group said: "I mean it is very clear to us that the reasons that most of these refugees that have fled in the first place have not been resolved at all. In the past decade, we have seen the Syrian government continue to commit the same abuses that they've committed since 2011 with no reform in sight, with no change in sight."
Syria's conflict has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions, and the NGO accuses Lebanon, where many refugees have gone, of pursuing quote, "aggressive returns agenda" against refugees.
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Minister of Social Affairs Hector Hajjar said Lebanon was committed to the principal of no forceful returns of Syrian refugees.
Meanwhile, Jordan has not publicly pushed for large-scale organized repatriations, but has closed many jobs to foreigners, according to Human Rights Watch.
The authorities say the move is designed to ease unemployment among locals.
Sarah Kayyali said: "The evidence we have clearly shows that Syrian refugees are at risk of persecution and any kind of call for Syrians to return prematurely is only going to result in them facing serious risks and even death. These kinds of calls are not grounded in reality."
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In an encampment in northern Lebanon, Syrian refugee Abou Alaa has heard stories about people being taken to prisons when they reach the borders.
He says he would love to go back to his home country, but for now, it is not safe to return.