Beirut, the 15th of May, 2015
Your Excellency the Director General of General Security, Mr. Abbas Ibrahim,
The date to make a final decision in the case of the migrant worker Renuka Irangani and her family is fast approaching. Renuka has been legally residing and working in Lebanon for almost 15 years. Moreover, she and her husband Jagdish were married in Sri Lanka before moving to Lebanon.
Fourteen years ago, Renuka and Jagdish had a baby girl named Susana. Ever since she was born, Susana has been the motivation for her parents’ hard work and dedication. Her parents have lived their entire lives under the law. They have never violated any Lebanese laws, as they considered the law to be their only protection. They have done all they could to secure the necessities of life for their daughter, so that she would never be a burden to Lebanese society. Throughout her childhood, Susana has been enrolled in a private school in Lebanon at her parents’ expense. She is approaching the realization of her dream – and her parents’ dream, which is like that of any parents who are ambitious for their child to succeed.
Everyone who knows Renuka or Jagdish or Susana has witnessed their dedication to their work, their love for Lebanon, and their respect for its laws and government. Renuka and her family have never wanted to defy the Lebanese government or General Security. Even her taking refuge at Insan Association was an appeal for help from the Lebanese legal system. Insan Association was duty-bound to support her, to show her situation and her compliance with the laws in force in Lebanon.
General Security detained Renuka and Jagdish and later released them, telling them that it would take a maximum of one month to review their case before making a final decision on whether their residency permits, and that of their daughter, would be renewed.
Your Excellency Director General, we send you this letter just days before General Security will inform Renuka and her family of their fate. The case has received close attention from Lebanese society, Arab society, the international community, ambassadors, journalists, human rights activists, and lawyers. This concern stems not only from the case’s humanitarian significance, but also because all of us in Lebanon – and internationally as well – strongly desire that the Lebanese government will protect the weak first, that it will issue rulings protecting the most vulnerable, and that its power will be able to protect basic human rights and to bring about a more just society.
It is in your hands to renew our trust in the state, in the humaneness of its administration, and in the wisdom of its leadership. Your final decision on this family’s case carries major importance, and could signify an increase in our country’s progress, in its modernity, in its protection of human rights, international norms and the sanctity of the family, of motherhood and fatherhood.
Your Excellency Director General of General Security, thank you for reading this letter, and thank you if you act justly. Your decision on Renuka, Jagdish and Susana carries much importance for the future of Lebanon and a humane society.
Founder and Director of Insan Association – Defending Human Rights
Charles G. Nasrallah