August 4, 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.
An unidentified migrant worker was reportedly found dead in Beirut River on July 30th. The ISF opened an investigation, however, no further information has been reported publicly to this date. We contacted Bourj Hammoud’s municipality and the ISF, but have received no response.
On the same day, an Ethiopian woman was found dead in Saida. She had reportedly fallen from the 7th floor of a residential building in the street of Nijasah. The ISF opened an investigation and the Lebanese Red Cross transferred her body to Saida’s Governmental Hospital. More information is yet to be made public.
Hussein Jomaa El Hammoud, a 22 year-old Syrian man, was found dead in a refugee camp in Chaat, Bekaa on July 27.
ISF opened an investigation and the forensic department was on the scene. No further official information can be found on the cause of death, but media sources suspect that it’s a murder.
In 2009, architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from Switzerland designed so-called “maid rooms” with inhumane conditions inside the apartments of the luxurious “Beirut Terraces” skyscraper.
Today, the two architects are receiving pressure for these unethical designs, and a lawsuit has been filed against them for the windowless rooms, where no air and no natural light can enter. A tweet by an architect explained how these rooms, being designed very close to kitchens and bathrooms, keep live-in domestic workers “invisible.”
The architects, on the other hand, have tried to justify these designs by stating that they were the client’s requests, and that they offered alternatives. The architects received a 3rd place in the 2013 internationally-renowned real estate competition, MIPIM Awards, despite the blatant violation of workers’ rights.
Media outlets and official representatives continue to spread hate speech and incite racism against Syrians in Lebanon, blaming them for shortage of bread.
Official Representative and Head of European Departement for Lebanon at the Union of European Experts Chambers (UCEE) Nabil Bou Ghantous raised concerns about “clashes with Syrian refugees” -referring to them as migrants, according to an article in Cedar News.
The article stated that tensions between Lebanese and Syrians have increased following the bread shortage crisis, and accused Syrians of sending the bread that is the “right of Lebanese alone” to their relatives in Syria.
Once again the media justifies attacks against Syrians, and blames individuals while disregarding the responsibility of the cartels and Lebanese stakeholders which have been making huge profits off the crisis by hiding goods, selling them in the black market and smuggling them to Syria.
On the other hand, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper cited the lack of wheat and flour as causes of bread shortage, while indirectly blaming Syrians for the shortage as well.
The article cited the government’s plan to send 15,000 refugees monthly to Syria. It also mentioned that the Lebanese Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine is still waiting to hear back from Damascus about setting a date for his visit to discuss the plan with the Syrian government.
Meanwhile, Enab Baladi released a comprehensive report about the legal challenges and risks of this plan. The report also documents interesting figures related to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, some instances of hate speech in the media, as well as the attacks and violations against Syrians that have been happening in Lebanon between 2019 and 2022.
Christian Federation of Lebanon and the Levant (F.C.L.L) held a meeting on July 31 to address Syrian “migration” and its effect on Lebanon, calling the Lebanese authorities to take action to avoid what they referred to as an “explosive” situation.
Tayyar and Cedar News released a statement from that meeting demanding “immediate deportation of any Syrian migrant who is illegal or poses a security threat, and to transfer them to the Syrian authorities for legal action.”
The statement not only targeted Syrian residents, but also local and international NGO’s, demanding the Lebanese authorities to dissolve organizations that are “involved” in integrating refugees into the Lebanese society, which the F.C.L.L deemed to be “ a threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
The statement also demanded that Lebanon receive a $50b compensation from “countries that caused the migration disaster”, claiming that these are the direct and indirect losses incurred by Lebanon as a result of the Syrian “migration”. This number is unfounded and comes in contrast with the F.C.L.L’s demand of stopping the activities of local and international NGOs offering financial help to Syrians.
It’s worth noting that Article 1 of the F.C.L.L legislation states that the organization’s objective is to “spread the culture of peace, democracy and social justice,” and to “solidify coexistence, accepting of others, and the right to be different.”
A report from Refugees = Partners examining the legal framework and work conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon found that “the lack of legal status renders refugees more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and precarious employment.”
The report shows how marginalizing Syrian refugees brings no benefit to the Lebanese economy. The report concluded with recommendations to the Lebanese Government, UNHCR and the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP). Namely, the General Security should partner with the UNHCR
General Security Publishes List of Arrests, Entry/Exit, Work Visas disaggregated by nationality from Mid-May to Mid-June [here]
The General Security Office (GSO) published a breakdown of arrests, entry/exit, and work visas between mid-May and mid-June in the new issue of the GS journal released on July 4th. Highlights included the following:
Migrant Worker Shares Her Story Following August 4th Port Explosion [here]
Lulu, a migrant worker and resident who survived the August 4th port explosion, shares detailed accounts of mistreatment, lack of medical care and racism that she faced on that day and afterwards.
This isn’t an isolated case as many non-Lebanese individuals affected by the Beirut 4th explosion were excluded from help throughout the crisis. Last year a law was drafted to exclude non-Lebanese victims of the August 4th blast and the Akkar explosion from compensation.