As the Lebanese economic crisis worsens, some communities, notably the marginalized, in Lebanon seem to be facing more detrimental consequences, specifically, Lebanese prisoners who are left with a shortage of food, medicine, and water.
In 2020, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf, indicated that prisons in Lebanon “are full of people who simply should not be there.”
According to Maalouf, hundreds of jailed individuals are behind bars due to delays in the Judiciary process or because they are “unable to pay fines or secure release warrants.”
Roumieh’s Prison is severely overcrowded. According to DAWN MENA, there were over 4,000 prisoners in the Roumieh prison. Ultimately, many of them suffer from chronic diseases, including hepatitis, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
These prisoners depend solely on their families for their basic needs, which include medicine and food, as health facilities in prisons have been enduring medicine and food shortages.
This has driven a large number of detainees to take alternative pills, which has led to the death of many.
In addition, prisoners seem to be sharing food. “Two inmates now share an apple,” Mohammed Sablouh, a lawyer at Tripoli’s Bar Association, told Arab News.
Al-Akhbar confirmed that while a number of associations supply medicine to the jails, the quantities “do not arrive in full” and claimed that these are “subject to theft by the security forces.”
Since February, around 15 prisoners had died due to medical negligence.
On the other hand, allergies and skin diseases began to rise due to the use of unsanitary tap water for drinking and showering.
Prisoners have resorted to “boiling water, which is usually brown or red in color” to reduce the number of germs in it. Water cuts are reportedly consistent.
Al-Akhbar claimed that the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) denied the problems related to the water crisis by attributing the allergies and skin diseases to the “lack of cleanliness of some prisoners.”
Riots or a “revolution” seems to be threatening the internal security of the Lebanese prisons; however, the fear of torture and solitary confinement seems to be controlling the inmates.