Lebanon News

ISIS dedicates song to Roumieh prison inmates

An ISIS fighter reads from the hymn: “I am sick of watching policemen ahead of me while the doors between us are locked.”

BEIRUT: The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has called for the release of Islamist detainees being held in Lebanon’s Roumieh Prison, in a YouTube video released over the weekend.

Gathering in an unidentified, mountainous location, the video shows a group of masked gunmen with black-and-white ISIS flags in the background chanting for the release of the Roumieh inmates. The video showed rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons with the men.

A man in the center recites the lyrics, sometimes reading them from a sheet of paper he held, while others repeat the chant after him like a chorus.

The video, signed by the “Lions” of ISIS, is dedicated to “our brothers and prisoners in Roumieh, Lebanon.” It was released Sunday on an ISIS-affiliated YouTube channel.

“O, if anyone can tell the news to Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Baghdad, I am saddened by the circumstances of prisoners in Roumieh Prison, oh brothers,” the hymn goes.

“I am sick of watching militants and policemen ahead of me while the doors between us are locked,” the lyrics said.

In another part of the song, the militants hope for bringing down the Roumieh Prison and say: “brother inmates [in the facility] want to crack the gates.”

The song also compares Roumieh to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where U.S. soldiers were accused of abusing Iraqi detainees through physical and sexual torture before the facility was later closed.

They say Roumieh, Lebanon’s largest prison facility, will soon meet the same closure.

Roumieh holds several Islamist detainees awaiting trial, with the majority linked to the 2007 Fatah al-Islam battles against the Lebanese Army in the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 10, 2014, on page 4.




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