Inmates protest at Roumieh after prisoner’s death

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Inmates at Roumieh Prison Thursday launched a protest and accused security forces of negligence after a suspected militant died at the facility the night before.

A security source told The Daily Star that Fadi Akkoush, detained in connection with the 2014 Bhenin battles in the northern district of Minyeh, suffered from heart disease.

Akkouch was allegedly a supporter of extremist preacher Sheikh Khaled Hoblos, arrested in April 2015, during a police raid in Tripoli. Investigation into Hoblos uncovered dormant cells in north Lebanon.

Security forces deployed heavily in the facility’s Bloc B to prevent riots, the source added.

Bloc B is well-known for holding suspected and convicted Islamist militants. They operated with relative impunity from inside the prison before an Internal Security Forces crackdown restored order inside.

The ISF released a statement later Thursday clarifying what happened based on CCTV footage, denying reports that they were late to provide Akkoush with medical attention.

The statement said Akkoush had left his cell at 9:25 p.m. Wednesday and headed to the prison’s medical center, where he received the necessary treatment.

It continued that at 9:59 p.m., the doctor requested that Akkoush be transferred to the hospital. CCTV footage showed ambulances outside the prison’s perimeters at 10:19 p.m. However, upon reaching the hospital, he had already passed away.

Later in the day, the Tripoli-Akkar international highway was cut off in both directions at the Abu Ali roundabout in Tripoli by protesters angered by Akkoush’s death.

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