Islamist-Led Prisoners Suspend Hunger Strike until after Ramadan


Detained Islamist cleric Khaled Hoblos announced Friday that inmates in Lebanese prisons have decided to suspend their hunger strike until after the holy month of Ramadan.

“We had declared a hunger strike in all Lebanese prisons on May 13, demanding a general amnesty for everyone, in order to turn the page on the past and open a new chapter towards a better future in a country that its people have suffered a lot,” Hoblos said in an audio message.

“After the press conference that (Interior) Minister (Nouhad) al-Mashnouq held yesterday and announced in it that the Grand Mufti and the Prime Minister have endorsed our cause, we held a number of contacts with political and religious authorities, who confirmed that the cause of the detainees has been endorsed,” Hoblos added.

“They said that the general amnesty law will be the priority after the electoral law,” the cleric explained.

“Accordingly, we announce a suspension of the hunger strike in Lebanese prisons until after the month of Ramadan to give some time to the political and religious authorities, and after that we will decide the next steps,” Hoblos went on to say.

Lebanon's overcrowded prisons have witnessed sporadic prison breaks and escalating riots in recent years as inmates living in poor conditions demand better treatment. There is also a demand for speedier legal proceedings and trials.

Relatives of Islamist prisoners and families of inmates who hail from the impoverished Bekaa region have held dozens of protests in recent months to demand a general amnesty, especially after the election of President Michel Aoun.