Roumieh inmate sets self on fire, dies in hospital

BEIRUT: An inmate died at the infamous Roumieh prison complex over the weekend after setting himself on fire with two other prisoners.

A security source told The Daily Star that the inmate who died at the hospital was a Baalbek resident, Mohammad Zeaaiter, and is in his 40s.

In a statement released Sunday, the directorate general of the Internal Security Forces said three inmates at cell number 131 of the Roumieh prison attacked another prisoner and injured him Thursday.

“The injured was transferred to the hospital and the inmates who attacked him were moved into another bloc within the complex,” said the statement.

However, on Friday, Zeaaiter slashed his hands with a knife and was also hospitalized.

Following his return to his cell, Zeaaiter along with Mahdi Zeaaiter and Hussein Jabbaq set their mattresses on fire.

“At 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Zeaaiter died.” “The guards at the prison doused the fire and transferred all of the inmates who were unconscious to the Dahr al-Basheq hospital for treatment,” the statement added.

The Roumieh prison complex has witnessed several riots and unrest throughout the year and this week’s failure of lawmakers to shorten the prison year from 12 months to nine during deliberations in Parliament are expected to trigger even more anger in the congested prison.

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