In her article for Foreign Policy, Sulome Anderson goes inside Roumieh prison -- the largest and most notorious detention center in Lebanon. Built with an official capacity of around 1,400, Roumieh today holds roughly 3,700 inmates who, recently, appear to have taken over the running of the place, as the state increasingly shies away from its administrative responsibilities. Anderson writes that Roumieh has become a sort of microcosm of Lebanon itself: life inside the prison is driven by money and connections, violence makes a frequent appearance, and the state is virtually absent, she says.
"Inside and out, it's the same," one prisoner tells Anderson. "It's all about politics."
Here, through recent pictures from Beirut's The Daily Star and from photographer Ramzi Haidar's April 2006 trip inside the detention center, a look inside the dismal world of Roumieh prison.
Above, prisoners walk down a cell-lined hallway in Roumieh prison.