The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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April 19, 2015

The Daily Star - Roumieh inmates demand return to notorious Block B, April 19, 2015

Islamist inmates at Roumieh Prison demanded during the recent riots to be moved back to the notorious Block B, An-Nahar newspaper reported Sunday.

An-Nahar quoted “Interior Ministry sources” as saying that the prisoner’s top demand when they were holding 20 guards hostage and negotiating with police Friday was to be moved from Block D to their previous accomodations.

Block B was emptied and shut down after a large-scale police operation in January, and is scheduled to be re-opened on May 1st after four months of restoration works, the report said.

An-Nahar’s sources said that the prisoners will be resettled in the bloc once it is ready to receive them, emphasizing that their stay in Block D was “temporary.”

Islamist inmates started a sudden riot in the new building Friday at dinner time, taking 20 guards hostages and shutting all doors.

They also burnt their mattresses, causing a fire that spread to the second floor of the facility.

The hostages were released late Friday evening, but it was not clear whether the guards were released by force or if an agreement was reached during negotiations between the inmates and the riot police.

A source from inside the prison had also told The Daily Star that cell doors were broken and surveillance cameras were destroyed during the riot.

Inmates had enjoyed relative autonomy in Block B and prevented security forces from entering the building for years.

After the clearing operation took place in January, television footage showed that prisoners had no cell doors and operated a barber shop and a coffee shop in Block B.

Footage also showed inmates on Block B had a large amount of electronic equipment, including TV sets and mobile phones.

Some of the prisoners are members of Islamist groups and had been imposing Shariah law inside Block B, reports said.

Source & Link: The Daily Star

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