Lebanese authorities have long struggled to care for the more than 8,000 people stuck in the jails. But three years of an unprecedented economic crisis mean even basics like medicines are lacking, while families struggle to support their jailed relatives.
Crisis-ridden Lebanon is embroiled in an unwanted diplomatic crisis because of its Information Minister George Kordahi wrongly criticising the Gulf Arab states for the war in Yemen and defending the rebel Houthis.
Children have been hit hard by the country's deep economic crisis exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic which has left about eight in 10 people poor and threatens the education of some 700,000 children including 260,000 Lebanese, the report said.
George Kordahi said he had quit before the French president visited Riyadh in the hope Emmanuel Macron would help ease the crisis sparked by the Lebanese TV host-turned-politician's critical remarks about Saudi Arabia's role in the Yemen war.
“With Saudi Arabia, we have made commitments towards Lebanon: to work together, to support reforms, to enable the country to emerge from the crisis and preserve its sovereignty,” Macron said on Twitter.
Lebanon’s political watchers know that the failure of Lebanese legislators to choose a president after eight rounds is nothing unusual. Michel Aoun, who stepped down at the end of October, was chosen president in 2016 after 45 rounds and that it took two years to do so. The election of the president becomes crucial because the