Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi speak after meeting at the Interior Ministry on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi and Hezbollah Tuesday traded accusations over who was to blame for leaking the videos that showed police officers torturing Islamist inmates in Roumieh Prison, an episode that has triggered a nationwide scandal over the country's human rights violations.The renewed war of words between leading Future Movement figure Rifi and Hezbollah, which has become a pattern in a history of strained relations between the two rival parties, threatened to jeopardize their 6-month-old dialogue designed to reduce sectarian and political tensions in the country. As the scandal over the torture videos reverberated across the country, inmates demanding mobile phones and Internet rioted for several hours inside a Roumieh Prison facility, a security source said. Hezbollah flatly rejected the charges and instead accused Rifi of leaking the videos.Berri called on Machnouk to apply the law on inmates who rioted for several hours Tuesday inside a Roumieh Prison facility.The videos were filmed when security forces quelled riots by Islamist inmates last April.Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr Tuesday charged five policemen arrested over their alleged involvement in the torture of Islamist inmates with abusing prisoners, violating military orders and breaching human rights.
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