Whether individuals who have been abused and/or targeted by Syrian soldiers can obtain protection or assistance from the Lebanese security forces [LBN36840.E]

The Managing Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Rights in Lebanon stated to the Research Directorate on 17 May 2001 that individuals who have been abused and/or targeted by Syrian soldiers cannot obtain protection or assistance from the Lebanese security forces. According to him, this is "due to the well known fact that Lebanon rotates in the orbit of Syria and security agreements are signed between the two states-the February agreement of 1993-which entitle the Syrian security forces to act on the Lebanese territory independently or in cooperation with the Lebanese security agencies." He specified that:

This, however, should not read that any criticism to Syria is stifled and is punished by immediate whisking of even grumblers to the Syrian gaols. The extreme reaction is reserved just to the leaders and the hyper activists members of the opposition political groupings which grow powerful enough to threaten the Syrian interests in Lebanon.

The Managing Director added that it would be unrealistic to expect that people who are "prominent and well known opponents to Syria in Lebanon", who "at any point, took part in armed conflicts against the Syrians, and who have "warrants issued in [their] name[s]" can get protection or assistance by Lebanese security forces (ibid.).

For a description of Lebanese security forces and their relations with Syrian forces please also see Country Reports 2000.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Managing Director, Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights, Beirut. 17 May 2000. Correspondence.

Sources Consulted

Arabies [Paris].

IRB Databases

Middle East International [Londres/New York].

Middle East Report [Washington].

Mideast Mirror [Londres].

Monde arabe Maghreb-Machrek [Paris].

The Lebanon Report [Beirut].

The Middle East [Londres].


Three sources did not respond to an information request

Internet sources including:

Human Rights Watch

Middle East Intelligence Bulletin

United States Committee for a Free Lebanon

Arab Human Rights

The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies


Amnesty International

Center for Lebanese Studies at Oxford

Search Engines including: