Daily life

All prisoners are entitled to spend at least one hour a day in the open air


In principle, prisoners have the right to take a three-hour walk every day.1 Whether or not this requirement is met varies from facility to facility.

  1. Together against the Death Penalty, Carole Berrih and Karim El Mufti, “Living Without Being: Fact-Finding Mission, Lebanon”, 2020, pp. 92-93. 

The prison service offers activities to prisoners


A few activities are organised and run by civil society organisations: language courses, IT courses, sports (yoga, walking, gymnastics), and vocational training. The frequency, type, and access to these activities vary between different prisons, as well as within the same prison.

  • Fifteen juvenile prisoners at Roumieh prison have participated in the “Second Chance” musical project since January 2023. Every week, the juvenile prisoners gather to learn to play various musical instruments, guided by a music teacher. A concert was organised for the staff, prisoners and several associations working in the prison.

    / Al-Akhbar

There are designated places for physical activities and sports


One death row prisoner interviewed by the ECPM fact-finding mission described using water barrels as dumbbells, due to a lack of weight training equipment. No sports activities are offered to female prisoners in Qobbeh.1

  1. Together against the Death Penalty, Carole Berrih and Karim El Mufti, “Living Without Being: Fact-Finding Mission, Lebanon”, 2020, pp. 104-105. 

There are designated places for cultural activities


Prison facilities have a library

some facilities

The prison administration is required to provide books and magazines for the prisoners. Al Qubba Prison has a library. The RESTART Centre and the Ar-Rawdha Al Fayha School in Tripoli supply books.1

Work is compulsory


A person can be sentenced to a prison term including compulsory work (hard labour). Hard labour may be imposed for a fixed term or for life. Hard labour is adapted to the convicted person’s age and gender (Articles 37 and 45 of the Penal Code).
This criminal punishment is not currently being enforced, primarily due to a lack of human and material resources.

All prisoners are allowed to work


Few prisoners have access to work.
People on death row interviewed during the ECPM fact-finding mission revealed that they had no access to work or vocational training.1

  1. Together against the Death Penalty, Carole Berrih and Karim El Mufti, “Living Without Being: Fact-Finding Mission, Lebanon”, 2020, p. 105 

Jobs involving handicraft, maintenance, cleaning, cooking, and administrative tasks are sometimes available to prisoners.1
Observers have reported an unofficial division of labour in detention. Prisoners with greater financial means delegate cleaning tasks to poorer prisoners who have little or no assistance from their relatives. They work in exchange for food and the protection of fellow prisoners.

  1. Together against the Death Penalty, Carole Berrih and Karim El Mufti, “Living Without Being: Fact-Finding Mission, Lebanon”, 2020, p. 104. 

Authority(ies) in charge of education and vocational training

Ministry of Justice

An agreement was signed between the Prison Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. It planned to place teachers in prisons to offer a technical diploma to adults and minors.1

Prison regulations allow for the Ministry of Education’s teachers to visit prisons “to provide teaching and counselling to prisoners” (Article 67 of Decree No. 14130).1
Vocational education and training may also be provided by civil society organisations.

The prison service implements measures to fight illiteracy


Civil society organisations sometimes offer programmes to fight illiteracy. In 2016, 10.2% of prisoners were illiterate, according to statistics from the Ministry of Justice.1

  1. Caritas Lebanon, European Research Institute, “Access to legal aid services in Lebanese prisons”, 4 March 2017, p. 13 

Vocational training is available for all prisoners


  • The Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture held a graduation ceremony for 21 women and 54 men. For one year, these prisoners participated in courses and professional training in hairdressing, painting, languages and information technology.

    / LBC International

Prisoners are allowed to keep themselves informed regularly on public affairs


Prison regulations provide for access to books and magazines, but prohibit daily newspapers from being brought into prisons (Article 60 of Decree No. 14130).

Prisoners have access to a television


Prisoners have access to television sets in their cells or dormitories.1

  1. Lebanese Centre for Human Rights, “Lebanon’s Prisons: Humanitarian and Legal Concerns”, 2010, p. 30. 

Prisoners have access to the press


The vast majority of prisoners are Muslims. The second most popular religion is Christianity.

Prisoners are free to practice their religion and follow their beliefs


Article 56 of Decree No. 14130, Article 38 of Decree No. 6236.

There are chaplains in the prisons

depending on the religions of the prisoners

Prison regulations guarantee prisoners the right to practise their religion and receive visits from chaplains. They also allow an imam or a priest to hold religious services on days and times set and agreed upon by the prison governor. Prisoners who are ill and admitted to a hospital (public or prison hospital) are also entitled to such services. Meetings with chaplains take place in the inner prison yards or in specific rooms.1

Individuals or organisations from the outside are allowed to participate in prison activities


Only prisons under the Ministry of Internal Affairs allow the participation of outside individuals or organisations.

Authorisations for external actors to take part in prison activities are provided by

the prison service

External actors must also obtain approval from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. In their applications, each organisation must specify the target facility and the proposed activity.

The civil society organisations that are allowed to enter prisons carry out activities in various fields. They offer therapeutic, educational, recreational, legal, and humanitarian assistance (distribution of soap, mattresses, clothes). These organisations include:

  • the Catharsis Association, which runs drama therapy workshops in prisons
  • the RESTART Centre, which works to rehabilitate victims of torture
  • Caritas Lebanon and the Lebanese Centre for Human Rights which provide legal, social, psychological, and medical assistance to prisoners
  • the Union for the Protection of Children in Lebanon (UPEL) which supports minors in trouble with the law. Observers have noted that it is now more difficult for outside agencies to access prisons, particularly due to the socio-economic and health crises. On the other hand, the FSIs heavily rely on them for the provision of basic supplies, due to a lack of resources provided by the authorities.
    Civil society organisations are not allowed to enter prisons under military jurisdiction, with the exception of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Organisations working in prisons mainly depend on funding from international donors.

Prisoners are allowed to make use of financial resources


Prison regulations state that prisoners have the right to receive money or aid from outside sources. The visitors deliver the money to the prison governor. The governor records it in a dedicated register after it has been signed by both the prisoner and the visitor (Articles 63 and 73 of Decree No. 14130).

Financial resources are accessible

in an account

Prisoners have the right to vote


Convicted prisoners are disqualified from voting and standing for election while serving their sentence. A conviction can also be accompanied by a ban on the exercise of one or more civic rights for a period of one to ten years (Articles 65 and 66 of the Penal Code).