Couple of days ago, a video was leaked on social media have revealed police officers beating and torturing several Islamist prisoners held in Lebanon’s Roumieh prison. , prompting the justice minister to call for an investigation into the incidents. Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said he is responsible and vowed to bring those policemen to justice and take all legal measures against those found guilty of misconduct. justice Minister Ashraf Rifi called the incidents “brutal and barbaric”, pushed to name those behind the beatings, “in order to refer them to specialized judiciary and punish them duly”. According to the Daily Star newspaper, Pro-Islamist Twitter pages have identified the prisoners as Sheikh Omar Atrash from the northeastern border town of Arsal, Qatibah al-Asaad from the Lebanese border area of Wadi Khaled and Wael al-Samad from the Dinnieh town of Bakhoun in north Lebanon. So far Five members of the Internal Security Forces are under arrest.
The video sparked demonstrations on Sunday, with hundreds of people in the northern town of Tripoli blocking roads and staging sit-ins in protest at what local media are dubbing “Lebanon’s Abu Ghraib,” in reference to images that surfaced in 2003 showing US officials torturing inmates in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib Prison.
It seems that the video was taken after the last uprising in the prison. Regardless of the uprising or the crimes these terrorists committed (killing Lebanese soldiers, aiding terrorists cells, …) no one, including terrorists, shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is not the way to curb terrorism or avenge the death of security forces members. The best way is to have a due process, fail trials and let each person serves his verdict in prison. The answer to violence is not violence. We will fall in a vicious cycle. These terrorists will use this video and these action to spread more hatred.
That said, we must also look into who was helping these prisoners? On several occasions, the security forces found cell phones, computers, … in their cells. Many terrorist attacks were planned inside the prison. Who was the head of the Internal Security Forces during this time? Who allowed them to have access to the outside world? Who gave them all these privileges? We should take a step further and look into who armed them and allowed them to form terrorist cells to attack the Lebanese army? In addition, I understand the reaction of the people who protested the tortures and blocked roads but how come you didn’t show and closed roads when Lebanese soldiers were killed by those terrorists? I’ve one other questions: who filmed this tape? why he filmed it? Who asked him to film it? Why it was released now and not before? Who asked to leak it? Is this Minister Rifi vs Minister Mashnouq?
The saga of these prisoners and Roumieh prison been dragging for a long time. Set trials dates for them and let each one of them face the justice system. Hate breeds hate. Violence breeds violence. Terrorists are eager to have such materials to use them in their propaganda.