Lebanese Republic
11 August 2020
Restart Center presents "Corona virus restricted measures in prisons and detention centers"
03 June 2020

Civil society organizations in Lebanon, especially those who are partners in AFKAR program, are working to overcome the exceptional circumstances resulting from the Covid 19 crisis and its repercussions. In this context, the publication of the Restart center for rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture includes a guide on " Corona virus restricted measures in prisons and detention centers". It warns against the heavy crowding that characterizes these places, which facilitates the easy spread of the disease.

The guide focuses on the legal measures that the authorities can take in order to limit this spread within Lebanese prisons and detention centers. It details the possibility of reducing new detentions, the number of detainees in pretrial detention and the number of prisoners in prisons. As well, it highlights the need to ensure the rights of prisoners to communicate with the outside world. It also urges strict enforcement of the provisions of Articles 107 and 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in case of arrest. Besides, it refers on the draft amnesty law and the need to apply the legal conditions for the duration of reducing imprisonment and expediting the application of reduced penalties.

It also provides health measures to be adopted in order to ensure the physical and psychological health of persons deprived of liberty, and to limit the spread of the epidemic within prisons and detention centers. It stresses the necessity of securing the appropriate places for quarantine, and calls for pursuing awareness campaigns and providing health care for prisoners, sterilization and frequent cleaning. As for the prisoners' communication with their families, the guide encourages the adoption of modern technologies in communication between them, in order to ensure this human right.

The guide evokes as well the measures associated with limiting the spread of the epidemic between the security personnel and the medical team working in these locations. It suggests to develop a protocol for behavioral, health instructions and instructions for workers, in cooperation with the relevant government agencies and NGOs. As well, it provides health and psychological support to those who need it from the security staff and the working medical team.

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