Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Displaced Iraqi at increasing risk of detention in Lebanon

Iraqi refugees are experiencing considerable hardship throughout the Middle East, especially in Lebanon, where they are being detained with increasing frequency, Refugees International, a Washington based group said in a report Monday, according to The Associated Press.

The organization’s report was, according to the article, “issued after its team visited Lebanon, Syria and Egypt for a month to gauge what homeless Iraqis deal with.”

“The report highlighted the plight of Iraqis in Lebanon, where an estimated 50,000 Iraqi refugees live. Lebanon’s history of sectarian violence and its stated refusal to act as an asylum country has led authorities to deny Iraqis any rights or access to services, the report said,” according to the article, which added: “It said authorities began ‘systematically arresting and detaining those who are in Lebanon illegally’ since May, when government troops battled al-Qaida inspired militants holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp in the country’s north.”

“The government has taken to detaining Iraqis, placing them in jail with common criminals,” the report said.

According to the article: “Human rights activists say the Iraqis are generally jailed for a month, then offered the choice of returning to Iraq or staying on in prison — until they give up and opt to go home.”

Stephane Jaquemet, the regional representative for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, puts the number of Iraqis currently in jail in Lebanon at about 580.

For the full article, click here.


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