Weekly News Report: August 1-8

Weekly News Reports 2022

Articles and views shared in the Weekly News Report do not necessarily represent ARM’s views. Information in these articles has not been fact-checked by ARM and may contain some errors. ARM is simply compiling all news relevant to migrant communities to inform our advocacy efforts and to facilitate the work of organizations that cater to migrant communities.

General Security Illegally Attempt Deporting a Kenyan Activist, Risking her Life [here] [here] [here] [here] [here] and [here]

The General Security (GS) tried on August 4, 2022 to deport Kenyan worker and activist NM, knowing fully that she is an asylum-seeker facing threats in Kenya.

NM’s resistance to the deportation, as well as bystanders and a caseworker from ARM’s team were able to interrupt and stop the process at the airport. However, NM was taken back to the detention center, where she remains detained.

NM has been politically active in the past year, taking part with her community in a sit-in against their consulate which they claim has been abusive. These claims have been investigated and reported by CNN.
The GS also punished NM for resisting deportation. On August 8, a caseworker from ARM went to visit Kenyan activist NM at the GS detention center where she has been detained since April 5. The GS did not allow the visit and informed the caseworker that NM is banned from visits and phone calls.

More information and updates will be shared on our social media outlets as they become publicly available.

Ministry of Displaced Insists that “Syrian Migrants Are a Main Reason for the Economic Crisis” [here]

The Ministry of the Displaced issued a statement on August 5, 2022. In which it falsely claimed that “[..] we cannot ignore that one of the main reasons for the economic crisis is connected to the Syrian crisis, especially Syrian migration.”

The statement added that this has “led Lebanese from lower socioeconomic status to compete with Palestinian refugees and Syrian migrants over limited services and resources,” and that this so-called competition has led to “tensions” between economically marginalized groups in Lebanon, omitting any mention of how hate speech or misinformation in the media can also be factors in hate crimes.

The statement also claimed that Syrian refugees, referred to as “economic migrants,” are “benefiting from direct international aid that does not go through the Lebanese authorities.” This claim has been revealed to be false by Megaphone, who, according to UNHCR, stated that Syrian refugees receive cash assistance from UNHCR through the BLF bank.

Lastly, the statement called on the European Union countries to “collaborate” on a plan to “gradually return Syrian migrants, for the stability of Lebanon and the shared interests with Europe.”

Majority of Eviction Reports Are Coming from Migrants and Refugees, According to the Housing Monitor [here]

The Housing Monitor in Lebanon documented 57 eviction threats that affected 239 people between March and May of 2022. The majority of these threats affected migrant and refugee residents.

Out of these reports, 45.6% came from Syrians, 36.8% came from Lebanese, and the remaining reports came from different nationalities, which included Ethiopia, Cameron, Palestine, United States, Egypt and Côte d’Ivoire.

Dekwaneh Mayor Responds to Racism Claims “Yes, I am a Racist” [here] and [here] and [here]

Antoine Chakhtoura, Head of Dekwaneh Municipality, who recently raided and arrested Syrian residents, tried to justify his entire list of actions between 2012 and now, which include inspections and raids on Syrian and Palestinan residents, by saying that it’s “honorable” and in the name of “defending Lebanese labor.”

In an interview with MTV, Chakhtoura said that CLDH had filed a complaint against him to the Lebanon’s Discriminatory Public Prosecution for illegally forcing Syrian refugees to sign a pledge to return to Syria in exchange of their documents, however, he falsely claimed that these actions were all “legal.”

“It’s an honor for me to be investigated by the Ministry of Interior for defending the Lebanese people and infrastructure from Syrians and foreign workers” He said “And if they call me racist, then yes, I am racist, I have no problem with that.”

The interview then followed with many racist claims, for example, claiming that access to bread should be prioritized to Lebanese families instead of Syrians. He also described the “problem” of Syrian refugees as a “timed bomb.” 

Lastly, the head of Sin El Fil municipality, Nabil Kahale, cited false information about Syrians receiving help in fresh dollars, which has been repeatedly debunked.

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