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Lebanon escalates its denial of civil rights for Palestinian Refugees

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Violations of international standards for Travel Documents.

Over the past few years, the Lebanese government has been intensifying its discrimination against Palestinian refugee travel documents in direct violation of international standards. It now issues Palestinian refugees punitive travel documents which are not machine-readable and do not meet international standards, as compared to Lebanese passports. Consequently Palestinian refugee travel documents are now being rejected by most countries, preventing the issuance of visas.

To compound the problem, Lebanon discriminates among different Palestinian refugee categories. It grants Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA travel documents for five years as opposed to one year for those who are not and cannot register with UNRWA for various reasons. This limits their chances of having a long term visa and thus negatively affects their chances to live, work and learn outside Lebanon.

Increased government restrictions on Freedom of Movement for Palestinians

Over the past few years Lebanon has intensified its illegal restrictions on the right of freedom of movement for Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon's 12 camps and 24 gatherings. Claiming "Security Procedures" it has curtailed the number of camps' entrances and exits. Military checkpoints increasingly restrict the right to freedom of movement putting yet more pressure on the camp inhabitants. Camp residents are ordered to register their entry and exit at night, and sometimes at daytime. Often camp residents are forced to wait for long periods, preventing them from being on time for work and generally hindering their mobility. These restrictions risk people's lives in times of internal military tension or clashes.

Since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began, the government of Lebanon has worked to prevent Palestinian refugees from Syria from living anything remotely like a normal refugee's life. It has done so by enacting various blatantly illegal measures. These include but are not limited to the following: physical and verbal abuse, humiliations in various forms,, physical violence, intimidation and forcing them return (refoulement) to a war zone from which they fled for their families lives. There are many recorded cases of immigration officials at Syria-Lebanon border crossing at Masnaa allowing some family member in but barring others thus splitting up families in violation of international humanitarian law. As noted above, a government decree dated 31/12/2014, ignores the suffering of Palestinian refugees from Syria by not even recognizing them as war refugees. It leaves them also exposed to the psychology and prejudices of personal on duty at border control crossings.

In addition, the government of Lebanon has recently intensified its violations of the international humanitarian law requirement of the right to freedom of movement for Palestinians from Syria by failing to protect them from inhumane and degrading treatment including verbal and physical violence, arbitrary detention, harassment at entrances to camps, and curfews targeting Palestinians from Syria in certain municipalities, some known for their historic intense animosity toward Palestinians.

Increased deprivation of Refugee Housing

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)

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