BEIRUT: Syrian refugees account for 27 percent of Lebanon's prison population as of 2016, according to Jean Fahed, chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.
In a meeting with President Michel Aoun Wednesday, Fahed argued that the percentage of Syrian prisoners increased from 18 percent in 2011, to 27 percent in 2016, further "burdening the Lebanese judicial system while increasing pressure on Lebanese courts."
Meanwhile, the percentage of Syrian nationals awaiting trial rose from 33.67 percent in 2012 to 51.68 percent in 2017, Fahed said.
"The crimes committed by these prisoners are dangerous and complex," he said, adding that Syrians held on terrorism charges accounted for 46.3 percent of prisoners accused of committing terrorist acts as of 2017.
"The discussion with President Aoun also dealt with the relationship of the Judicial Council with the European Union and the need for coordination to determine the nature of aid and the mechanism of disbursement," Fahed said.
Lebanon has been reeling under the burden of over 1.5 million refugees who escaped the bloodshed in neighboring Syria, taking a toll on its economy and infrastructure.
The repatriation effort has gained traction in recent weeks following the intervention of Russia, with around 2000 Syrians departing Lebanon.
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