Lebanon’s parliament bureau will meet on Wednesday to discuss a general amnesty law in light of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country’s jails.
The announcement was made after Speaker Nabih Berri received at his Ain al-Tineh residence a delegation of the Democratic Gathering, including MPs Hadi Abul Hosn, Bilal Abdullah and Faisal al-Sayegh.
“Discussions focused on holding a legislative session to discuss and approve a general amnesty law in light of the crisis in the country due to the impact of the coronavirus and the spread of the disease in Roumieh prison and other jails,” Abul Hosn said after the meeting.
The head of the doctors' union, Sharaf Abu Sharaf, warned that there are more than 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Roumieh prison, the country’s largest and most overcrowded facility.
He called on authorities to speed up trials to ease overcrowding, in a country where suspects can languish in jail for months without a hearing.
Last week, families of prisoners held a sit-in in front of the Justice Palace in Beirut, amid tight security measures, demanding general amnesty for their loved ones and expressing fear of the increasing number of infections.
Roumieh prison houses more than 4,000 prisoners, around three times its intended capacity, and has long been infamous for its poor conditions.