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2022 RLLR 27

Citation: 2022 RLLR 27
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: August 30, 2022
Panel: Kay Scorer
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Michael G. Sherritt
Country: Lebanon
RPD Number: VC2-05006
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-01960
ATIP Pages: N/A


[1]       MEMBER:  This is the decision of the Refugee Protection Division in the claim of XXXX XXXX, a Lebanese national claiming protection in Canada pursuant to section 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


[2]       The claimant’s allegations are contained in full in his Basis of Claim Form, his detailed narratives, and testimony at the hearing.

[3]       Summarized only briefly, the claimant alleges he faces persecution in Lebanon from Hezbollah due to his refusal to join or support the organization and the threats he faced from the organization as a result.


[4]       I find the claimant is a Convention refugee. I find the claimant has established a nexus to the Convention ground of political opinion. I have, therefore, assessed this claim under section 96 of the Act.



[5]       I find the claimant’s identity is established on a balance of probabilities by his testimony and by the other evidence before me, which includes copies of his passports in Exhibit 1.


[6]       The claimant benefits from a presumption that his allegations are true. I found the claimant to be a credible witness today and I have no reason to doubt the claimant’s truthfulness.

[7]       The claimant testified in a spontaneous, forthcoming, and detailed manner. The claimant did not embellish his claim. I identified no relevant inconsistencies, omissions, or contradictions between his testimony and the other evidence before me.

[8]       The claimant also provided documentary evidence that supports and corroborates various aspects of his claim. These documents can be found in Exhibits 4 and 5. This includes education and employment letters, including for employment in the UAE, and corroborating the cancellation of his work and status in that country, and numerous detailed supporting letters corroborating the claimant’s allegations of harm. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of any of these documents. I assign these documents weight as they help establish the material elements of the claimant’s allegations.

[9]       I will just note that the claimant did reside in the UAE for a significant period of time and I have considered whether he has ever had status or access to status in the UAE that would be comparable to that of citizens of permanent residents of that country. I find he has not. The claimant was in the UAE on a work permit and his status was contingent on his employment. He has since lost his employment and his status has expired. While I note his wife remains in the UAE and is working, she, too, is a Lebanese national and in the UAE on temporary status of her own. I find the claimant’s status, real or potential, has been at all times temporary and subject to cancellation.

[10]     Ultimately, I find the claimant has established that he has been and continues to be pursued by the Hezbollah in Lebanon. I find the claimant has established his subjective fears on a balance of probabilities.

Objective basis

[11]     There is documentary evidence before me that supports the claimant’s fears of persecution from Hezbollah in Lebanon, all of which can be found in the National Documentation Package (NDP) in Exhibit 3. I will go through a few.

[12]     According to Item 1.3 of the NDP for Lebanon, Hezbollah is a prominent political party and powerful player in Lebanon’s economy, politics, and media. The armed component of Hezbollah is the most significant and heavily armed Lebanese militia. This document states that Hezbollah has the effective control over parts of South Lebanon, Southern Beirut, and The Beqaa Valley.

[13]     According to Item 7.9, Hezbollah is a Shia political and militant organization in Lebanon that has evolved from being a militant group fighting against Israel to an established political party in Lebanon with active political and military wings.

[14]     Also according to Item 7.9 of the NDP, Hezbollah has been deemed a terrorist group by the Canadian government and according to Item 7.8 Hezbollah is considered the most powerful force in Lebanon’s parliament. Hezbollah maintains an excessive network of social services throughout Lebanon to build popular support. There are multiple articles regarding a number of people who have been targeted throughout 2019.

[15]     Item 1.3 of the NDP states that Hezbollah starts with societal pressure or persuasion and then moves to social marginalization and eventually resorting to direct threats and violence if they feel their power is genuinely threatened. Further, in areas under Hezbollah’s control they are a defective government and Lebanese government are unable to enforce law and order. Sources also state that Shia community members, like the claimant, are not able to criticize Hezbollah without fear of consequences such as harassment, intimidation, financial pressure, and exclusion from Hezbollah services like health and education. This can all be found at Items 1.3 and 7.8.

[16]     Ultimately, I find the evidence before me regarding the issues with Hezbollah in Lebanon reasonably applies to the claimant’s situation and establishes the claimant’s allegations. On an objective basis, I find the claimant’s fear of persecution in Lebanon is well-founded and forward-facing.

State protection and internal flight alternative

[17]     In this case I find the presumption of state protection has been rebutted. There is political interference and bribery in the country which is a noted problem in the documents in the NDP.

[18]     According to Item 9.1 of the NDP, police do not provide adequate protection to those who receive death threats.

[19]     Items 1.3 and 7.8 of the NDP confirm that government forces are unable to enforce the law in areas controlled by Hezbollah.

[20]     The evidence before me in the NDP also confirms that Hezbollah is in part part of the state. Therefore, I find there is no reasonable state protection available to the claimant who continues to be relentlessly pursued and threatened by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

[21]     Further, I have also considered whether there is a viable internal flight alternative for the claimant in Lebanon. Sources in the NDP, including at Items 1.3, 7.8, 2.1, and 7.4, state that individuals identified as being opposed to Hezbollah, like the claimant, are unlikely to avoid societal discrimination through internal relocation. Hezbollah appears to have reached throughout all of Lebanon. Hezbollah uses various methods to obtain information about perceived adversaries, just like the claimant. They have informer networks. They engage in telephone and internet monitoring. Further, sources in the objective evidence state that Hezbollah are able to locate wanted individuals throughout all of Lebanon.

[22]     It is also worth noting at Item 1.3 the airport in Lebanon is located in South Beirut where Hezbollah has significant control and the airport itself is significantly controlled by Hezbollah.

[23]     Therefore, for these reasons noted above, I find there is no viable internal flight alternative for the claimant in all of Lebanon.


[24]     Based on the above analysis, I find the claimant is a Convention refugee. His claim is, therefore, accepted.