HRW chides Lebanon over handling of refugees, protests

Published January 27th, 2016 - 02:30 GMT

Human Rights Watch renewed its criticisms Wednesday of the Lebanese government’s policies toward Syrian refugees and protesters.

“As security challenges in Lebanon mount, so do concerns about the government failing to adequately protect human rights,” Nadim Houry, HRW deputy Middle East director, said in the group's annual world report.

The report noted that authorities have been imposing restrictive and costly residency renewal regulations for Syrian refugees since January 2015, causing many of them to lose their legal residency.

“Protecting the rights of the Lebanese as well as Syrian refugees is the right thing to do, and the best way to ease the tensions in the country.” Houri said.

HRW also condemned a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces against protesters in August, who demanded an end to the garbage crisis.

The country’s state prosecutor tasked a military court judge to investigate the violence, but the results of the investigation remain unclear, the report added.

Other incidents of police violence such as the torture of detainees in the notorious Roumieh prison were mentioned in the report.

It also criticized Lebanon for failing to establish a mechanism to monitor incidents of torture, despite ratifying the Convention against Torture in 2008.

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