Guide on documenting pushbacks at the Cyprus-Lebanon-Syria borders 

EuroMed Rights is launching a toolkit to document and denounce border violence and pushback practices at the Cyprus-Lebanon-Syria borders.

Recent years have witnessed an increase in boat arrivals to Cyprus from Lebanon, with dozens of individuals on board, primarily Syrian refugees, but also Palestinians and Lebanese. With the exception of specific cases, Cypriot authorities have summarily returned these individuals to Lebanon despite the risk of both direct and indirect refoulement in Lebanon to Syria.

This handbook aims to offer civil society organisations, lawyers, practitioners, advocates, and activists the necessary tools and information to document and challenge human rights violations at the Cyprus-Lebanon-Syria borders, specifically regarding forced return practices, to support them in advocating for the halt of these unlawful practices, raising State responsibility for such violations and achieve justice for the victims.

Focusing on the collection of evidence for litigation and advocacy purposes in relation to the strategic litigation, this guide provides insights to practitioners on the existing legal avenues to challenge human rights violations at the Cyprus-Lebanon-Syria borders, and practical information on lodging and submitting evidence, communication, and complaints before the relevant legal bodies.

To this end, this handbook relies on the case law and practices of the European and international bodies in similar contexts and circumstances, to demonstrate the key evidence accepted by the human rights bodies in practice, the potentially successful methods for evidence collection, the most efficient mechanism depending on the circumstances at hand, and the length of the process.

You can read and download the toolkit here as well as the summary factsheet here.