BEIRUT, April 3 (Xinhua) — Security forces contained on Sunday rioting which erupted at Lebanon’s largest prison complex over the weekend.
“By 5:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) the situation in Roumieh has returned to normal, and food was served to inmates,” said a statement carried by the state-run National News Agency.
No major casualties were reported at the Roumieh prison, north of Beirut, after inmates set ablaze mattresses to protest the blocking of cell phone signals inside the complex.
ISF commander Major General Ashraf Rifi, who visited Roumieh Sunday afternoon, told reporters that the situation had been contained peacefully and that prisoners’ demands, which include a call for a general amnesty, the reduction of sentences and the right for inmates to face trial, would be conveyed to relevant authorities.
“Things have reached an end,” Rifi said. “The issue has finally reached a peaceful conclusion in the prison and we will transfer the prisoners’ demands to the judiciary.”
A security source told Xinhua the mounting of special devices enabled prison guards to detect the use of mobile phones inside Roumieh, which sparked the mutiny.
Rifi said that in addition to overcrowding inside the prison complex, security forces were cracking down on the use among inmates of drugs and cell phones.