26 September 2016

Lebanon: A 23-year-old Syrian Refugee Reappears After a Month of Disappearance by the Military Intelligence

Sir El Danniyeh, credits : M Fatfat , Panoramio Sir El Danniyeh, credits : M Fatfat , Panoramio

On 22 September 2016, Mohamad Al Souki, a Syrian refugee arrested in late August in Sir El Danniyeh, north of Lebanon, by officers of the Military Intelligence for “not possessing a valid Lebanese residence permit”, reappeared after a month of disappearance. That day, upon information received by a former detainee, a notary public went to the premises of the military police at the Military Court in Beirut and received official confirmation by the authorities that Al Souki was held there. On 20 September 2016, Alkarama had sent his case to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

On 23 August 2016 at about 3 am, officers of the Military Intelligence stormed into Al Souki’s house and arrested him, as a part of a raid into his building during which he and several other Syrian refugees were arrested for not being in possession of regular residence permits, particularly difficult to obtain due to the restrictions imposed by the Lebanese government. While all the other Syrians arrested were released after a short period of time, Al Souki’s could not obtain any information on his fate and whereabouts for an entire month.

A former detainee, in fact, reported having seen Al Souki on 16 September 2016 at the premises of the military police at the Military Court in Beirut. It is based on this information that, upon request of a lawyer appointed by Al Souki’s family, on 22 September 2016, a notary public went to the premises of the military police at the Military Court in Beirut, where the authorities confirmed him Al Souki’s detention, and allowed them to visit him.

“While welcoming Al Souki’s clarification of his fate and whereabouts, we remain extremely concerned over his one-month disappearance,” says Inès Osman, Legal Officer for the Mashreq at Alkarama. “Enforced disappearance opens the door to further abuses: for example, in June 2016, another Syrian was tortured while detained incommunicado by the Military Intelligence. This is unacceptable: Lebanon has a legal obligation to respect the human rights of all individuals present on its territory, including Syrian refugees, and ensure that fundamental legal safeguards are afforded to all individuals deprived of liberty immediately upon arrest.”

For more information or an interview, please contact mThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).

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