Middle East

New Lebanon MP under criticism over calling for ‘genocide’ of Syrians

A newly-elected Lebanese Member of Parliament has come under heavy criticism over a tweet she posted in the past which called for the “genocide” of Syrians within Lebanon.

Cynthia Zarazir, who early this week won a parliamentary seat for the opposition Li Watani [For My Nation] list in the first district of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, is being criticised for her tweet in a Twitter post she wrote back in 2016, which has re-emerged following her election.

In the tweet, Zarazir stated:  “Together for the genocide of Syrians, I don’t care what gender or sect. They’ve done nothing but caused trouble to Lebanon”.

In a recently televised interview on MTV Lebanon‘s programme, ‘It’s About Time’, she apologised for the language she used, but insisted she does not regret her stance on the issue. “I am sorry for using the word ‘genocide’. I made a mistake and I admit in front of everyone that I was wrong. However, I don’t regret my position on Syrian refugees.”

With over 1.5 million Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon due to the ongoing civil war in Syria and the economic crisis there, there has emerged discrimination against them from, not only Lebanese society, but also from the authorities. In certain municipalities, for example, Syrians have been subjected to curfews and limits to their wages.

This latest election cycle, Syrians were even ordered to remain in their homes on election day in some parts of the country, in a move described by rights groups as “racist”.

READ: Lebanon’s election with a taste of crisis

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