On Monday, a fishing boat sank with eight Syrians on board off the Chekka coast area in northern Lebanon. Three were rescued, and then arrested by the Lebanese authorities after returning them to the shore, while the fate of the others is still unknown.
The Lebanese National News Agency reported that the eight Syrians, “tried to illegally travel to Cyprus on board a fishing boat, but it sank far from the Lebanese coast.”
It added that naval forces arrested three of them after bringing them back to the Chekka area coast, while the fate of the other five is still unknown.
It is still unconfirmed whether the other five reached the coast and left for an unknown location or if they are still at sea.
Lebanon is home to about a million Syrian refugees, most of whom fled to the neighboring country during military operations by Assad’s forces in Syria. Most of them suffer from poor economic and social conditions.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon has previously said that the number of Syrian refugees is more than a million and that Lebanon has become the country with the highest concentration of refugees in the world and that it is, “struggling to cope with a crisis that shows no signs of slowing down.”
A joint study by UN agencies last year warned that more than half of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in severe poverty and that more than 75 percent are living under the poverty line.
On a legal level, Lebanon has no law for Syrian refugees they can benefit from, as Lebanon has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and insists on its right to deport anyone they are hosting at any time.
In light of that, Syrian refugees, as is the case in most neighboring countries and given the economic and social pressures, have attempted to travel to Western countries, and hundreds of refugees have died trying over the years of the Syrian revolution.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.