Information on the treatment of Christian conscientious objectors who are Syrian nationals, born in, and residents of, Lebanon [SYR11138.FE]

According to a specialist on Syria in Ottawa, the nationality of the persons concerned is an important factor (26 June 1992). If these people are Syrian nationals, they should remain in Lebanon and avoid entering Syria where they are subject to compulsory military service (ibid.). In cases where they do not have Syrian nationality, they are not subject to military service (ibid.). However, this rule does not necessarily apply with respect to a public figure whose political opinion is anti-Syrian (ibid.). The specialist adds that the Syrian Government is not specifically interested in Syrians living in Lebanon, but rather in the nature of their political activities (ibid.).

A specialist on Lebanon and a professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) says that fines or prison terms may be imposed on persons, Christian or Muslim, who refuse to perform military service in Syria (29 June 1992). Someone who has several nationalities, one of them Syrian, is subject to Syrian law if he is on Syrian territory (ibid.). Thus, no other law or country could intervene to prevent the Syrian Government from forcing this person to perform military service (ibid.). Syrian citizens are not systematically sought in Lebanon, but if a person subject to military service in Syria were the victim of some incident and Syrian soldiers checked his identity papers, it would not be possible to predict the consequences (ibid.).

The sources consulted were not able to provide information on the content of the new law on military service in Syria.

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.

References


Specialist on Syria, Ottawa. 26 June 1992. Telephone interview.

University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Montreal. 29 June 1992. Telephone interview with a professor.

Attachments


Immigration and Refugee Board Documentation Centre (IRBDC), Ottawa. 28 November 1990. Response to Information Request SYR7290.

Immigration and Refugee Board Documentation Centre (IRBDC), Ottawa. 18 April 1990. Response to Information Request SYR3568.