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Frontiers

Frontiers

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Published by: frontiersruwad on Mar 24, 2011
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03/24/2011

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This publication was generously funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Lebanon.The views in this publication can in no way be attributed to the donor
Taking
 
Refuge
 
in
 
Arbitrary
 
Detention
 
Executive
 
Summary
 
Ruwad
 
Frontiers
 
Association
 
2010
 
© All contents copyright Frontiers Ruwad Association.
 
 1 of 7
Taking
 
Refuge
 
in
 
Arbitrary
 
Detention:
 
Executive
 
Summary
 
Refugees
 
and
 
asylum
seekers
 
in
 
Lebanon
 
continue
 
to
 
be
 
arbitrarily
 
detained
 
and
 
deported
 
by
 
the
 
Lebanese
 
authorities
 
despite
 
Lebanon’s
 
legal
 
obligations
 
to
 
protect
 
them.
 
This
 
executive
 
summary
 
describes
 
a
 
report
 
entitled
 
Taking
 
Refuge
 
in
 
Arbitrary 
 
Detention
,
 
published
 
by
 
Frontiers
 
Ruwad
 
Association
 
(FR).
 
The
 
report
 
describes
 
and
 
analyses
 
developments
 
in
 
arbitrary
 
detention
 
and
 
refugee
 
protection
 
in
 
Lebanon
 
from
 
the
 
beginning
 
of 
 
2009
 
to
 
the
 
end
 
of 
 
September
 
2010.
 
It
 
is
 
sourced
 
mainly
 
from
 
testimonies
 
documented
 
by
 
FR,
 
official
 
government
 
correspondence
 
and
 
minutes,
 
and
 
media
 
reports.
 
The
 
report
 
addresses
 
the
 
following
 
topics
 
in
 
detail:
 
 
Lebanese
 
judges’
 
pioneering
 
condemnation
 
of 
 
arbitrary
 
detention.
 
 
The
 
administration’s
 
disregard
 
for
 
judicial
 
authority
 
and
 
persistence
 
with
 
its
 
policy.
 
 
The
 
legality
 
of 
 
the
 
administration’s
 
use
 
of 
 
particular
 
detention
 
facilities.
 
 
Cabinet
level
 
and
 
parliamentary
 
policy
 
debates.
 
 
UNHCR’s
 
role
 
in
 
refugee
 
protection
 
in
 
Lebanon.
 
 
The
 
personal
 
testimony
 
of 
 
detainees
 
about
 
their
 
harsh
 
experiences.
 
 
Efforts
 
by
 
the
 
media
 
and
 
civil
 
society
 
to
 
address
 
the
 
situation.
 
 
FR’s
 
policy
 
recommendations
 
to
 
the
 
Lebanese
 
authorities.
 
Judicial
 
condemnation
 
of 
 
arbitrary
 
detention
 
The
 
Lebanese
 
General
 
Security
 
administration
 
continues
 
to
 
arrest
 
and
 
prosecute
 
refugees
 
and
 
asylum
seekers
 
for
 
irregular
 
entry
 
and/or
 
stay,
 
then
 
detain
 
them
 
arbitrarily
 
after
 
the
 
expiry
 
of 
 
their
 
judicial
 
sentences
 
and/or
 
without
 
referring
 
them
 
to
 
a
 
judge.
 
This
 
prolonged
 
detention
 
aims
 
to
 
pressure
 
detainees
 
to
 
sign
 
off 
 
on
 
their
 
“voluntary
 
return”.
 
In
 
some
 
cases
 
detainees
 
are
 
forcibly
 
deported
 
to
 
their
 
countries
 
of 
 
origin
 
(
refoulement 
)
 
without
 
their
 
agreement.
 
In
 
17
 
lawsuits
 
brought
 
against
 
the
 
State
 
by
 
detainees
 
during
 
the
 
reporting
 
period,
 
Lebanese
 
judges
 
ruled
 
that
 
such
 
prolonged
 
detention
 
is
 
arbitrary
 
and
 
an
 
infringement
 
of 
 
personal
 
liberty
 
that
 
violates
 
Lebanon’s
 
Constitution,
 
laws,
 
and
 
international
 
human
 
rights
 
obligations.
 
They
 
issued
 
rulings
 
stopping
 
detainees’
 
deportation
 
and
 
ordering
 
their
 
immediate
 
release
 
with
 
compensation.
 
 
 2 of 7
 
These
 
verdicts
 
rejected
 
the
 
administration’s
 
arguments
 
that
 
arbitrary
 
detention
 
is
 
justified
 
when
 
the
 
goal
 
is
 
deportation.
 
Judges
 
also
 
ruled
 
that
 
the
 
deportation
 
of 
 
recognized
 
refugees
 
is
 
itself 
 
illegal,
 
thereby
 
overturning
 
previous
 
judicial
 
verdicts
 
sentencing
 
refugees
 
to
 
deportation,
 
even
 
in
 
cases
 
where
 
refugee
 
status
 
was
 
obtained
 
after
 
the
 
initial
 
verdict.
 
The
 
administration
 
has
 
also
 
sought
 
new
 
sentences
 
by
 
charging
 
detainees
 
with
 
violating
 
judicial
 
and
 
administrative
 
expulsion
 
orders.
 
Judges
 
have
 
ruled
 
either
 
that
 
the
 
orders
 
did
 
not
 
meet
 
the
 
conditions
 
established
 
by
 
law,
 
or
 
that
 
detainees’
 
refusal
 
of 
 
such
 
orders
 
(or
 
even
 
agreement)
 
is
 
not
 
a
 
legal
 
basis
 
for
 
any
 
action
 
because
 
they
 
are
 
under
 
duress.
 
The
 
judiciary
 
has
 
thereby
 
protected
 
personal
 
liberty
 
and,
 
indirectly,
 
the
 
right
 
to
 
asylum.
 
The
 
administration’s
 
disregard
 
for
 
judicial
 
authority
 
The
 
administration
 
has
 
responded
 
to
 
judicial
 
condemnation
 
with
 
various
 
pretexts
 
and
 
ploys.
 
It
 
argues
 
that
 
detainees
 
cannot
 
be
 
released
 
because
 
there
 
is
 
no
 
legal
 
basis
 
for
 
their
 
presence
 
in
 
Lebanon
 
and
 
that
 
refugee
 
status
 
does
 
not
 
legalize
 
presence
 
because
 
“Lebanon
 
is
 
not
 
a
 
country
 
of 
 
asylum.”
 
Judges
 
have
 
rejected
 
this
 
as
 
grounds
 
for
 
infringement
 
of 
 
liberty
 
after
 
a
 
judicial
 
sentence
 
has
 
been
 
served.
 
In
 
response,
 
the
 
administration
 
has
 
contested
 
judges’
 
competence,
 
evaded
 
the
 
receipt
 
of 
 
judicial
 
orders,
 
and
 
refused
 
to
 
execute
 
them
 
once
 
received.
 
It
 
has
 
deported
 
detainees
 
in
 
spite
 
of 
 
rulings
 
blocking
 
their
 
deportation
 
and
 
ordering
 
their
 
release.
 
The
 
administration
 
has
 
released
 
other
 
detainees
 
given
 
sponsorship
 
by
 
an
 
employer,
 
a
 
promise
 
of 
 
resettlement
 
to
 
a
 
third
 
country,
 
or
 
UNHCR
 
intervention.
 
However,
 
the
 
legal
 
grounds
 
for
 
their
 
prolonged
 
detention
 
and
 
eventual
 
release
 
remain
 
unclear.
 
Decisions
 
on
 
detention
 
and
 
release
 
continue
 
to
 
be
 
made
 
at
 
the
 
administration’s
 
whim.
 
The
 
administration
 
is
 
thus
 
not
 
only
 
violating
 
Lebanon’s
 
Constitution
 
and
 
law
 
by
 
infringing
 
personal
 
liberty,
 
but
 
also
 
by
 
rejecting
 
the
 
judiciary’s
 
authority.
 
Although
 
some
 
of 
 
General
 
Security’s
 
concerns
 
may
 
be
 
legitimate,
 
they
 
ought
 
to
 
be
 
addressed
 
through
 
a
 
mechanism
 
that
 
takes
 
into
 
account
 
Lebanese
 
law
 
and
 
obligations
 
to
 
refugee
 
protection.
 

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