BAALBECK: The Australian Embassy opened a medical clinic at Baalbeck Prison in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday, with the hope that the clinic would help to improve conditions there.
A statement released by the embassy expressed hope that the clinic would “help reduce the burden on the Internal Security Forces who are working very hard with overcrowded prisons.”
Mohammed Safa, Secretary General of the Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, attended the opening, when he called for the improvement of prison conditions in Lebanon. Safa said that the role of the state in developing prisons across the nation remained “minimal."
He toured the prison to take stock of its conditions along with second secretary of the Australian Embassy in Lebanon Antonia Da-Rin, Baalbeck-Hermel Governor Bashir Khodr and Khalil Ahmad Kassem, a representative of Internal Security Forces head Imad Othman.
“Lebanon’s prisons are overcrowded and prisoners are often held without trial. It is not an exaggeration to say that our prisons do not even come close to meeting international standards,” Safa said at the launch event.
Echoing Safa’s comments, Kassem reaffirmed the ISF’s “moral and humanitarian” commitment towards the rehabilitation of prisoners, as they have the right to live “freely and peacefully.”