The Lebanese NGO JAD, or Youth Against Drugs, issued a letter to Lebanon’s authorities calling the approval of the general amnesty a “national suicide.”
The general amnesty of inmates across the country, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) recently breaking out in overcrowded prisons, has been a very controversial topic with as many proponents as there are opposers of it.
To JAD, the approval of such a decision by Parliament would “indicate the collapse of the legal and judicial system in Lebanon.”
The NGO pointed out that Lebanon’s prisons are full of criminals and drug traffickers, “who manage their criminal operations from inside prisons anyway, with the knowledge of many parties.”
With that said, it argued that their unconditional release would undermine the safety and security of the Lebanese population, stressing that these prisoners would return to their criminal lifestyle after being released.
“What do they offer Lebanese society except for criminal acts, or electoral votes for those who work for their random release?”
“Including the amnesty law on the agenda of the parliamentary session on October 20th is a national suicide if it is approved; it reinforces the continuation of political clientelism and indicates the collapse of the legal and judicial system in Lebanon,” the NGO stated.
Citing the international studies that indicate inmates return to their criminal actions after their release, JAD proposed an alternative to the general amnesty, which Parliament will review and potentially approve during its October 20th session.
“Lebanon needs to establish rehabilitative prison centers that fulfill the minimum conditions and human rights for prisoners, with the aim of their positive and effective social reintegration and achieving national security.”
Additionally, the NGO called for speedy trials and serious consideration by the judiciary to issue verdicts and release those who deserve to be released, according to fair trials.
Regarding COVID-19, the letter recommended the implementation of preventive health measures to confront the virus and prevent “exploitation and unobjective media pressure.”