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Lebanese security arrests 76 Syrians, including 43 children

Syrian Refugees | 2019-09-09 21:45:00
Lebanese security arrests 76 Syrians, including 43 children
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Lebanese Internal Security has arrested 76 Syrians, including 43 children, in the past 48 hours, saying they entered the country illegally.

The General Directorate of Internal Security Forces said on its official website on Monday that the mass arrest came as a result of intensive investigations to combat people smuggling from Syria to Lebanon.
 
According to The Daily Star newspaper, the Lebanese authorities are able to deport Syrian refugees who entered the country illegally after April 24, 2019, after decisions made earlier in May this year by the Higher Defense Council and General Security.

Prior to the new rules, Syrians who had entered Lebanon without legal residency documents might be arrested, but were generally not deported.

General Security, the organization responsible for entry to and exit from Lebanon, told The Daily Star that between May 21 and Aug. 28, 2019, it had deported 2,731 Syrians who had illegally entered after April 24.
 
The Mediterranean country of around 4.5 million people says it hosts some 1.5 million Syrians, of which nearly a million are UN-registered refugees.

Lebanese politicians routinely blame the country's economic and other woes on Syrian refugees and the government has ratcheted up the pressure to send them back.

Rights groups have decried measures to make the lives of refugees increasingly difficult.

Since June, more than 3,600 Syrian families have seen their shelters demolished in the eastern region of Arsal, according to local authorities.

Homes made of anything other than timber and plastic sheeting are not allowed.

In August, the Lebanese army destroyed a further 350 structures in the north of the country and arrested dozens of people for lacking residency documents, humanitarian groups said.

The labour ministry, meanwhile, is cracking down on foreign workers without a permit, a move activists say largely targets Syrians.

Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6 million as refugees to neighboring countries.

Zaman Al Wasl, Agencies

Zaman Al Wasl
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