The Syrian Network for Human Rights issued a report on Thursday in which it warned Syrian refugees against returning to Syria, saying that the Syrian regime still poses a threat to returnees.
The Network said in its 21-page report that it had documented the regime arresting 638 refugees who were forcibly returned to Syria and the deaths of 15 refugees under torture.
It added that from 2014 to August 2019, Assad’s intelligence agencies arrested about 1,916 refugees who had returned to Syria, including 219 children and 157 women. It had released 1,132 of them and 784 remained in prison, while 638 had been transferred and forcibly disappeared.
The Syrian regime has forced 1,132 people that it released to join military service, according to the report, which showed that most cases of arrest had occurred at the border crossing after inspecting the name of the returnee and their passport.
The Network recorded the deaths of 15 returnees under torture, 11 of whom had returned from Lebanon. Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been subject to intense pressure to go back to Syria as part of a “voluntary return” plan developed by Lebanese General Security along with the Syrian regime midway through last year.
Jordan has witnessed returns through the Nassib border crossing, which was reopened in October 2018. Russia and the regime have promoted the return of Syrians through the crossing on a daily basis, while UN figures indicate that the number of returnees is no more than 26,000 out of the total number in Jordan, which is about 1.3 million people, according to official figures.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to warn Syrian refugees against returning to Syria and to inform them of the dangers of return. It also called on the countries hosting refugees, that are also putting pressure on them to return, to stop the campaigns of “racist” harassment.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.