Beirut, Lebanon 20/05/2021
"Inciting sectarian tensions and sedition, violating the Constitution and the Code of Labor, exploiting women and trafficking in human beings."
On 19 May 2021, the Lebanese Center for Human Rights, represented by its President, Wadih Al-Asmar, reported to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Lebanon based on the issuance of the Municipality of Ferzol, Bekaa, of a statement leading to numerous human rights violations, including: stirring up sectarian slurs, inciting discord, violating the Constitution and the Labor Code, exploiting women and trafficking in human beings.
In detail, a statement was issued and signed by Mr. Melhem Ghassan, Head of the Manicupality of Ferzol, on 29/4/2021 and was in contravention of the local laws and international conventions.
The Manicuplaity had stated that:
a- All Syrian workers living on Ferzol's territory must refrain from making individual or collective problems, and anyone who presents such problems must leave the town, which is considered a form of discrimination against Syrians as it only applies to them.
b- A car and motorcycle curfew are set from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m., in which there's a serious violation of municipal regulations. On the one hand, the municipality has no right to set a curfew and on the other hand, curfew decisions shall not apply to people from certain nationalities dismissing the others.
c- The daily wage for men is 25,000 LL and 15,000 LL for women, which contradicts article 11 of the CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. In addition, the wage of 15,000 is contrary to the minimum wage. Article 2 of Decree 7426 of 25/12012 sets the minimum daily wage at 26000 LL, i.e. the difference between the legal minimum and the one set by the Municipality of Ferzol is more than 36%.
In response to the violations mentioned above, CLDH reported to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Lebanon, requesting the summoning the perpetrator of the crimes in question, the head of the Municipality of Ferzol, and any person identified by the investigation as an actor, accomplice, or instigator. In addition to investigating and arresting them under the offence of article 317 of the Penal Code, the offence of incitement to racial slurs, article 186 of the Penal Code and the subsequent amendment of Act No. 164/2011, or any other offence, and prohibiting him from performing any public functions in accordance with article 317/65 of the Penal Code.
The Lebanese Center for Human Rights considers that the exploitation of the worsening financial situation of Syrians in Lebanon, their forced labor and the practice of racism against them are contrary to the law and violate fundamental human rights and therefore cannot be dismissed.
The report submitted by CLDH to the Public Prosecutor's Office was recorded as No. 3223 on 20/05/2021. CLDH will continue to monitor the details on the case.