Contact with the outside world

All prisoners have the right to receive visits


Days and times for visits are set by the prison governor. The visit may not exceed 15 minutes.1
Since 2020, families have found it more difficult to visit their loved ones due to the suspension and/or reduction of visits to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as the increased cost of travel due to rising oil prices.

  1. Article 69 and following Decree No. 14130; Articles 50 and 52 of Decree No. 6236 

People eligible to visit

  • family members
  • family and friends

Only four persons are allowed per visit. There is no restriction on the number of visitors if they are all members of the prisoner’s immediate family: parents, children, spouses (Article 70 of Decree No. 14130).

In 2010, the Lebanese Centre for Human Rights reported that almost half of all prisons do not had adequate visiting rooms. At Jbeil prison, prisoners were forced to meet visitors through a narrow window on the metal door that leads to the cells. At Jeb Jennine Prison, prisoners and visitors had to meet in a dark corridor between chain-link fences.1
In Roumieh prison, a place called Ad-Dar (the home) was set up to allow prisoners to meet their families and loved ones in private.2

Prisoners and visitors can meet without physical barriers


Separation devices are often used. Observers reported constant noise and lack of privacy in the visiting rooms.

Prisoners are allowed to receive visits from their children or minor relatives


Visitors may bring food (excluding Roumieh prison), clothing, books, and magazines to prisoners (Article 60 of Decree No. 14130).

There are no provisions for family reunification. Many people are imprisoned far away from their families and loved ones.

Prisoners are allowed to exchange mail

yes, under certain conditions

According to prison regulations, prisoners may send two letters per week on days and at times set by the prison governor. They must be short and precise. These conditions are not required for letters to examining magistrates, public prosecutors, and lawyers.1

  1. Together against the Death Penalty, Carole Berrih and Karim El Mufti, “Living Without Being: Fact-Finding Mission, Lebanon”, 2020, p. 91. 

Prisoners are allowed to make external phone calls


Prisoners are unable to maintain regular contact with their families over the phone due to length daily power cuts and an infrequent supply of pre-paid phone cards.

Prisoners are allowed to call

  • family members
  • family and friends

The phones are located

in the corridors

The use of cell phones is authorised