Riots Broke Out In Lebanon’s Most Crowded Prison Due To COVID-19

The Syrian Observer | Haytham al-Moussawi

Unrest stirs as positive coronavirus cases were detected in Lebanon’s biggest and most overcrowded Roumieh Prison.

As all of Lebanon experiences a surge in cases, local media reported that 13 Roumieh inmates and 9 guards tested positive for the Coronavirus disease.

On Sunday evening, prisoners staged a riot to protest the neglect of inmates whose lives are threatened by the poor conditions at the prison.

The head of the Beirut Bar Association, Melhem Khalaf, described the situation at Roumieh as a “time bomb.”

Inmates and their families previously protested the lack of measures being taken to prevent the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus, before any cases were confirmed.

Now that the disease is inside the prison, the situation is critical as it can lead to a complete health disaster, according to Lebanese lawyer Ghida Frangieh.

In a statement, the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces said that prisoners who tested positive were transferred to a place designated for quarantine in the central prison, in cooperation with the International Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In addition, departments in several government hospitals have been allocated for those in need of treatment.

The health situation in Roumieh Prison is currently under control, added the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces.