An-Nahar: Authorities decide against deporting Syrians

An-Nahar newspaper reported on Saturday that a decision was made on Friday against deporting Syrians, even if there were judicial cases allowing their deportation.

According to the daily, the decision was made upon consultations between President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri and other political parties in the cabinet.

On Wednesday, Lebanon deported 14 Syrians despite the raging violence over the border, drawing criticism from human rights activists.

The Lebanese authorities said the reasons behind the expulsions were not political but a Human Rights Watch representative in Beirut said some of the deportees had expressed fears of persecution upon their return.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said in remarks published on Saturday that Lebanon handed over the 14 Syrians based on an agreement signed with Syria in 1951.

“The judicial agreement that the Lebanese authority [based its decision on] states that convicts should be handed over once they finished their jail sentence,” Charleb told Al-Liwaa.

He added that six Syrians who were arrested for arms smuggling a few months ago were not handed over to the Syrian authorities for fear that the latter would seek revenge for formers’ anti-regime stance.

-NOW Lebanon