Security Forces restore order at the Roumieh prison and end the riot


Roumieh prison
Roumieh prison
Lebanese Security forces succeeded on Tuesday in containing a riot that erupted at Roumieh Prison, two days after the torture scandal at the facility .

The forces restored order at the jail after listening to the inmates’ demands, MTV reported.

Media had reported earlier that the prisoners broke the doors of their cells and beat other inmates.

The rioters at the facility’s Block A reportedly demanded better conditions.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq’s adviser on prisons, Brig. Gen. Monir Shaaban, and several top security officials rushed to the facility to hear their demands.

An ISF special panthers unit was also deployed near Roumieh on the outskirts of Beirut to stop the riot from going out of control.

On Sunday, online video clips showed prison guards beating Islamists in Roumieh’s Block B.

The video drew sharp condemnation and accusations among politicians from the rival March 8 and 14 alliances.
The video clips show a room full of detainees stripped down to their underwear. In one clip, a guard beats a detainee on his back with what looks like a green hose. He yells at the screaming detainee “keep quiet” .

Another clip shows a second guard taunting and insulting a bearded detainee while hitting him. The detainee begs for mercy and later a voice, presumably of another guard, is heard ordering the inmate to kiss the man beating him. He is kicked in the face when he attempts it.

The detainees shown were handcuffed behind their back while squatting on a flooded floor.

5 charged

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged on Tuesday five guards for abusing inmates in Roumieh Prison and referred the case to the first military investigation judge.

The suspects have been questioned by General Prosecutor Judge Samir Hammoud.

Hammoud kept the five suspects in custody and ordered that the file be referred to Saqr to take the appropriate measures with regards to issuing charges against them.

Roumieh is Lebanon’s largest prison and has long been infamous for the poor conditions in some of its blocks, including overcrowding and harsh treatment.

Hammoud told An Nahar daily published on Tuesday that the torture of the three inmates as seen in the video clips was motivated by personal reasons.

The beating of the prisoners was not ordered by any side, he said.

According to An Nahar, two of the guards beat the inmates while a third recorded the assault on a mobile phone.

The two other guards have likely leaked the video, said the report.

Abuse Tarnishes Lebanon’s Image Abroad

Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan condemned on Tuesday the abuse of inmates in Roumieh Prison, deeming it a “crime and violation of Islamic morals.”

He said: “The abuse tarnishes Lebanon’s image before the international community.”

He made his remarks during a meeting with a delegation from the Islamic Cultural Center.

“Prisoners should not be treated in a manner that violates the simplest legal rules,” he stressed.

“We have learned that dignity belongs to a human being regardless of his affiliation, religion, or race,” continued Daryan.

He also reiterated his call for the election of a new president following over a year of vacuum in the country’s top Christian post.

Addressing regional developments and the spread of extremism, Daryan said: “We are an ummah that believes in Islam and Arabism, which both stress mercy and acknowledging the other.”

“Islam is the religion of tolerance and openness towards others,” he added.

nditions in some of its blocks, including overcrowding and harsh treatment.

Other parts of it, however, had become virtual no-go zones for security, with prisoners running their affairs and able to access laptops, phones and money, until security forces cleared Roumieh’s Block B in January.

On Tuesday, State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged five guards with abusing the prisoners.