Xenophobia? Local Lebanese Mancupility Imposes Curfew on Syrians Only

Published June 9th, 2021 - 06:27 GMT
Refugee house in Akkar district, North Lebanon, near the Syrian border
In 2014, HRW had reported 45 similar decision deemed "hostile". (Shutterstock: Victoria C. Werling)

Despite Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon for almost 10 years now, about 1.5 million Syrians are still reporting racist and xenophobic actions by some locals including official decisions targeting them.

Translation: ""Recently, we have noticed unjustified movements by foreigners and Syrians."  This is how the Nahr Ibrahim municipality in Byblos clarified the daily curfew it has imposed on foreigners and Syrians, which begins on Monday from 9 PM to 6 AM."

Online, at least two independent Lebanese media sources have reported a decision taken on Monday by the Nahr Ibrahim municipality in the Byblos district, one that has imposed a night-time curfew on "foreign and Syrian nationals."

According to the Lebanon-based Megaphone, the municipality cited "suspicious movements" by Syrian residents of the town as the reason behind their decision.

The decision has been regarded as directly targeting Syrian refugees living in the area, who have been facing a number of difficulties in the country already ravaged by an extreme economic crisis.

While many online people have called on Lebanese authorities to reconsider such decisions that deepen the hostile sentiment against refugees in the country, many have noted that this is not the first time such measures have been taken by local municipalities in Lebanon.

In 2014, Human Rights Watch reported curfew decisions imposed on Syrians only by 45 Lebanese towns. Moreover, leading Lebanese politicians have in recent years called on Syrian refugees to "go back to Syria," claiming that the end of the military war should end their refugee status.

Meanwhile, millions of Syrians across the world have expressed their fear of going back to Syria under the current ruling government, saying that their opposition to Bashar Al-Asad, who remained in power 10 years after the uprising, will threaten their safety and can easily lead them to either jail or being killed by Asad supporters.

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