BEIRUT: An EU-funded project to improve conditions in women’s prisons was launched Tuesday by head of the EU delegation to Lebanon, ambassador Angelina Eichhorst and Gen. Joseph Douaihy, Commander of the Gendarmerie, at Baabda Prison. The 30-month program has been dubbed “Promoting Human Rights Policy and Practice in Lebanese Women’s Prisons.” It aims at improving the human rights of women detainees in four women’s prisons – Baabda, Tripoli, Zahle and Barbar al-Khazen, Beirut – in cooperation with the prisons’ authorities, through enhancing the legal and social support to detainees, encouraging them to report abuses and promoting regulatory improvements. It will be implemented by the NGO Diakonia, alongside Caritas, Dar al-Amal and Rassemblement Démocratique des Femmes. During the launch, Eicchorst said: “Prisons should contribute to rehabilitate inmates, to educate and reinsert them into society and to set them on the right path to rejoin society as productive and welcome members.” She stressed the high rate of pretrial detention in Lebanese prisons, calling on authorities to do more to improve prison conditions and accelerate trials.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 04, 2012, on page 4.