2 min read  | Diaspora & Refugees, Politics

On the Record: Lebanese army rounds up Syrian refugees


May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015

The Lebanese army arrested 90 Syrian refugees on Monday from several areas in the Bekaa Valley and the north of Lebanon on various charges including affiliation with an unnamed “terrorist organization,” reported on the official website of the Lebanese army.

Here, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who goes by the alias Masaud al-Qamaouni talks to Syria Direct’s Ammar Hamou about the rising number of arrests among refugees, and his perspective on the terrorism charges leveled against detainees.

Q: In your opinion, what are the reasons behind the most recent arrest campaigns against Syrian refugees in Lebanon?

“These arrests are ongoing. The ready-made charge [leveled against refugees] is that their papers have not been renewed.

After the recent battles in Qalamoun between the Victory Army on one side, and the regime and Hezbollah on the other, the pace of arrests has clearly increased.”

Q: In general, what happens to refugees who have been arrested in Lebanon?

“Most of the time, the government releases them a few days after their arrests.

Some people are turned over to the Rumiya prison, on the charge of ‘belonging to terrorist groups’ like the Islamic State or Nusra.”

Q: The Syrian refugee living in Lebanon right now—what is he most afraid of?

“Ready-made charges most scare Syrian refugees in Lebanon. If the Lebanese want to arrest a refugee and take him to Rumiya, the easiest way to do that is to accuse him of being in Nusra or IS.

Keep in mind, IS and Nusra fighters, according to what I understand, are not naïve and will not enter the refugee camps, in which the Lebanese army has a large security and intelligence presence.”

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