Naharnet

Mashnouq Sets Two-Stage Plan to Resolve Roumieh Prison Crisis

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq established a two-stage plan to resolve the situation at Roumieh prison and improve the conditions of the inmates, As Safir newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“I will rehabilitate the facility and dismantle the state that was established in it,” Mashnouq said in comments published in the newspaper.

He pointed out that he rejects any cover-up or protection granted to the prisoners by any side.

“I will rectify the unjust treatment that the inmates are suffering from,” the minister stressed.

Roumieh, the oldest and largest of Lebanon's overcrowded prisons, has witnessed sporadic prison breaks in recent years and escalating riots over the past months as inmates living in poor conditions demand better treatment.

During the first stage of the plan set by Mashnouq, the minister seeks to equip a new facility near the prison to accommodate around 700 to 1000 inmate.

The first stage reportedly requires three months to be implemented.

The second stage, which needs around a year to be accomplished, will be the establishment of a new facility for dangerous prisoners, who will have a separate court room.

According to the daily the cost of the second stage will reach 40 million dollars.

The newspaper said that Mashnouq is expected to request a financial aid for his plan during the upcoming meeting of the Arab Interior Ministers in Morocco in order to resolve the crisis in Roumieh facility.

Informed security forces told As Safir that the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau is ready to control the situation in Roumieh prison after the first stage of the plan is implemented.

Corruption, negligence and the maltreatment of inmates spread at Roumieh prison as some inmates have access to cellphone, internet connection and soft arms.

Last week, inmates at Lebanon's largest prison held a strike at the facility after dozens stitched their lips together as part of a hunger strike to demand better living conditions.

The inmates threatened to further escalate their measures if their demands weren't met.


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