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UNHCR: Lebanon witnessing increase in tension, violence against refugees

July 30, 2022 at 9:24 am

Refugees are seen in a camp in Lebanon on 3 January 2021 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon stated on Friday: “Lebanon is witnessing an increase in tensions and incitement between different communities, leading to localised violence in the streets, including against refugees.”

In a statement published on its official website, the UNHCR warned: “The impact of the economic crisis in Lebanon is having a devastating effect on everyone, and particularly on the most vulnerable.”

It stressed: “Continued support from the international community to Lebanon is critical to ensure the protection of all and the secure access to food and other basic needs.”

UNHCR expressed grave concern with: “Restrictive practices and discriminatory measures based on nationality that are being introduced and impacting refugees, among others.”

READ: Lebanon plans to repatriate 15,000 refugees monthly to Syria

The UNHCR called on the Lebanese authorities to: “Ensure rule of law and the protection of all persons in the country. The spirit of solidarity and mutual respect that has been the hallmark of communities in Lebanon should prevail.”

On Thursday, Lebanese and Syrian media outlets circulated footage of the Lebanese people in Beirut violently beating a Syrian man. The apparent reason was to stop him from taking a loaf of bread they believed citizens to be more entitled to.

On 21 July, Lebanese media announced the arrest of a father and his three sons who had killed a Syrian youth by beating him in the southern province of Sidon.

The number of Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon is approximately 1.5 million, about 900,000 of whom are registered with the UNHCR.