On Sunday, the Lebanese Army foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of people, including children, to the island of Cyprus off the coast of Lebanon.
According to a statement issued by the army, 69 Syrian nationals were arrested as well as the smuggler (A.K.) who took money in order to enable their illegal crossing.
The migrants intended to travel by sea and unlawfully enter Cyprus in a dangerous trip that has proven to be fatal many times before.
In 2020, Lebanon was stunned by bodies that kept washing up to shore and that belonged to people who had attempted to cross the sea to escape crisis-stricken Lebanon.
Many boats got lost and stranded, several people, including babies, died on the “death boats” and bodies were thrown in the sea. Some who had jumped off the boat in search of help never returned.
In addition, asylum-seekers who did arrive in Cyprus were not welcomed and were even sent back. Some were reportedly badly mistreated. Human Rights Watch had accused Cypriot marine police of threatening and beating some of them.
Even Syrian nationals who had taken refuge in Lebanon from their war-stricken country years back can’t even bear to stay.
Lebanon is suffering the worst economic crisis in modern times. It is exacerbated by the dreadful pandemic and multiple lockdowns and was made worse after the harrowing Beirut blast.
Political instability and the fact that Lebanon has not yet formed a new government after the last one resigned are adding to the living difficulties.
Our team works tirelessly to ensure Lebanese people have a reliable alternative to the politically-backed media outlets with their heavily-funded and dangerous propaganda machines. We've been detained, faced nonstop cyber attacks, censorship, attempted kidnapping, physical intimidation, and frivolous lawsuits draining our resources. Financial support from our readers keeps us fighting on your behalf. If you are financially able, please consider supporting The961's work. Support The961. Make a contribution now.