Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk narrates a video showing Roumieh inmates beating a prison guard during riots earlier this month, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk took aim at critics Thursday who accused security forces of employing heavy-handed tactics in response to the recent riot at Roumieh Prison.In a news conference held at the Interior Ministry, Machnouk showed footage from the prison's surveillance cameras, revealing the coordinated actions undertaken by prisoners during the riot.Riot police then entered the building Monday after three days and quashed any dissent among the prisoners.Admitting that Block D is severely overcrowded with 1,147 inmates, Machnouk emphasized that the Cabinet's decision Wednesday to build a new prison was a "historical achievement," and the "first in decades". Two prisoners were seen moving into the prison's main hall, attacking and bringing in an unarmed guard, the minister explained.In addition to destroying doors, cells and gates, prisoners also dismantled walls to use stones to attack guards, Machnouk said.Gen. Mounir Shaaban who represented Machnouk in the talks.Block B was emptied after a large-scale police operation in January.Block B's rehabilitation will be done in four to five days, and prisoners will be moved in one week to 10 days maximum.As for other demands, Machnouk said most of them were very costly, and that the state has no financial capacity to respond.
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