Member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) political committee and Coordinator of the refugee office, Salim Idris, denounced the threatening language uttered by Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi concerning Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Idris said that Rahi is supposed to show sympathy with those displaced from their homes against their will, given that he is a religious man whose duty in society is to promote the values of tolerance, sympathy with the weak, and comforting the vulnerable.
“Rahi should have asked the Hezbollah terrorist militia to withdraw from Syrians cities and villages from which it forced Syrians out,” Idris said.
Idris said that the threatening messages that Rahi sent to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are similar to the language of an authority that does not show any respect for human dignity, rights and destiny. He added: “A cleric should not use this language given his vital role in spreading compassion and tolerance among people and in maintaining community peace.”
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“The Syrian refugees did not leave their homes with the aim of putting pressure on the Lebanese society or competing with the Lebanese in their homes or livelihood. Rather, they were forced to leave against their will. Once the appropriate conditions are there, they would not hesitate to return to their homes.”
Idris pointed out that “the regime-held areas are still unsafe for return, a fact which has been repeatedly confirmed by UN and agencies and international rights groups. Deporting Syrian refugees from Lebanon by force to those areas means sending them to the regime’s prisons and detention centers. The areas where Rahi wants to deport Syrian refugees will not be safe as long as the Assad regime and its allied militias are there.”
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) earlier stressed that the Lebanese government’s plan to deport Syrian refugees to the Assad regime’s areas forcibly would risk paving the way for a major crime against the deportees given the Assad regime’s well-known policy of arresting, killing and torturing everyone who opposed its rule or left its areas.
This article was 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.