ISF Probes Roumieh Mutiny, Vows to Take ‘Disciplinary Measures’ Against Complicit Wardens

The Internal Security Forces leadership is investigating the involvement of wardens in the smuggling of drugs and mobile phones to inmates at Roumieh prison and would take “disciplinary measures” against them, ISF chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi said.

An Nahar newspaper said Monday a “scandal” erupted after several prisoners made phone calls to television stations from inside their cells during the two-day mutiny over the weekend.

Rifi told al-Joumhouria in remarks published Monday that a work plan aimed at avoiding future mutinies includes the establishment of prisons in the south and north and speeding up trials.

Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud’s plan to build two prisons in the north and south for 1000 inmates each would be executed in a four years time at the cost of 19 Billion liras, Rifi said.

Other prisons would also be built later on in the Bekaa and Beirut.

The interior ministry said on Saturday it had been working to improve conditions at Roumieh for two years, and urged other ministries and the cabinet to follow suit by speeding up the trials process and providing finance.

Poor conditions in prisons and a slow judicial process have sparked several riots in Lebanese jails. Some prisoners can be incarcerated for years before their cases come to court.

Rifi unveiled that “legal measures” would be taken against the inmates responsible for the mutiny but he stressed that they are not “vengeful” measures.

He also said that the ISF would take “disciplinary measures against those proved of involvement in smuggling drugs to the prison.”

“There is an attempt to bring modern equipment that jams cell phones in the prison at the cost of 900 million liras,” Rifi added.

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