prison conditions are deteriorating in lebanon rights group
Prison conditions in Lebanon, a country in the Middle East, have been deteriorating amid the country’s economic crisis, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch published a report on Wednesday titled, “Lebanon: Harrowing Prison Conditions,” to discuss the prison conditions in Lebanon.
Human Rights Watch said in the report that overcrowding, deteriorating health care facilities, and the Lebanese government’s failure to pay outstanding bills have affected the country’s prisons. Reportedly, the prisons are not getting adequate food supply.
Roumieh prison, the largest and most notorious prison in Lebanon, has a total capacity of holding 1,200 prisoners. However, it holds about 4,000 prisoners, which leads to overcrowding.
According to the HRW report, detention centers across Lebanon have a total capacity of holding 4,760 prisoners. However, they hold about 8,502 people, out of whom, only 1,094 people have been sentenced.
Ramzi Kaiss, a researcher in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Division at Human Rights Watch investigating human rights abuses in Lebanon, said in the report, “With four of every five people in prison still waiting for a judge to rule on their cases, it is no wonder that Roumieh prison is bursting at the seams.”
Harrowing Prison Conditions
Human Rights Watch also interviewed four families of prisoners to prepare a detailed report on conditions at Roumieh Prison. They revealed that prisoners were unable to access food after the beginning of the economic crisis.
According to the detainees’ family members, prisoners started relying on prison food after the authorities suspended family visits during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Later on, family visits resumed but they were still unable to support prisoners. The rising inflation and sky rocketing food prices made it impossible for them to provide support to their detained relatives.
The family members criticized the government. They revealed that their detained relatives were getting insufficient and poor quality food. A mother of a prisoner at Roumieh prison said, “It’s food even dogs wouldn’t eat.”
HRW urged the authorities in Lebanon to guarantee people’s rights.