Syrian brothers facing imminent deportation from Lebanon to Syria

Syrian brothers facing imminent deportation from Lebanon to Syria

Messayar and his brother Mohammed Al Azzawi are both Syrian nationals who have been living in Lebanon since 2017. On June 12, 2019, they were arrested by the Lebanese Military Intelligence. They were then subjected to severe acts of torture by military intelligence officers in order to obtain forced confessions, including that they were fighting with opposition armed groups in Syria. On August 11, 2021, they were both sentenced by the Military Court to three years’ imprisonment. Despite having completed their prison sentences on September 30, 2021, they remained detained at the General Security retention centre in Beirut and could face imminent deportation to Syria.

On June 12, 2019, the Al Azzawi brothers were arrested by the Lebanese Military Intelligence Service at their home in Beirut, Lebanon. While in detention, they were subjected to severe acts of torture by military intelligence officers in order to obtain forced confessions, including that they were fighting with opposition armed groups in Syria.

On August 11, 2021, they were both sentenced by the Military Court in Beirut to three years’ imprisonment under the Lebanese Anti-Terrorism Law. As in Lebanon, a year in prison amounts to nine months, they both completed their sentence on September 11, 2021. However, instead of being released, they were kept at the General Security retention centre in Beirut.

On  September 30, 2021, Messayar was informed of a decision by the Lebanese General Security Service to return him back to Syria. It is likely that his brother Mohammed will soon receive a similar decision. Such a decision violates article 88 of the Lebanon Penal Code, which restricts the authority of issuing deportation orders to courts in cases of irregular entry. In the sentence issued against the two brothers on August 11, 2021, there was no clause indicating that they should be sent back to Syria after completing their prison sentence.

They are now facing imminent deportation to their country of origin where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture, especially considering they were accused of being members of Syrian opposition armed groups.

Considering the existence of foreseeable, real and personal risks, on October 4, 2021 MENA Rights Group submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture to intervene with the Lebanese authorities to urge them to refrain from extraditing the Al Azzawi brothers to Syria.

Timeline

October 4, 2021: MENA Rights Group submits an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
September 30, 2021: Messayar is informed of a decision by the Lebanese General Security Service to return him to Syria.
August 11, 2021: Messayar and Mohammed are both sentenced by the Military Court in Beirut to three years’ imprisonment.
June 12, 2019: Messayar and Mohammed are arrested by the Lebanese Military Intelligence Service at their home in Beirut, Lebanon.

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