The Lebanese interior ministry has denied entry to Palestinians fleeing Syria and instructed the competent authorities across the border to request prior approval from Lebanon’s General Security Agency before giving travel permits to Palestinians holding Syrian identity cards.
According to the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria, under the new rules only Palestinians deemed to be special cases are allowed to enter Lebanon from Syria with approval from Lebanese border control at Al-Masnaa crossing, the only border post still open to them. The Syrian Interior Ministry has stopped granting travel permits to Palestinian refugees heading for Lebanon and is demanding prior consent from Lebanese General Security.
Meanwhile, 30 year-old Palestinian journalist Bilal Ahmed Bilal is reported to have died under torture in a Syrian prison cell. Syrian Air Force Intelligence agents arrested Bilal in September 2011 in the town of Darya. He was charged with protesting against the government and filming, and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison by a military court.