At least 606 inmates convicted on minor charges will be pardoned to ease congestion in Sri Lanka's prisons amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, state media reported on Monday.
Prisoners over the age of 65, convicts who have completed half of their sentences for minor offences, and convicts who have completed over 25 years in a life sentence, are all eligible for the general amnesty, Xinhua news agency quoted Prisons Commissioner General Thushara Upuldeniya as saying.
"Those who have been convicted for minor offences and languishing in jail for a mount of money to pay fines will also be released under the general amnesty," Upuldeniya said.
State Minister of Prison Reforms and Prison Rehabilitation Sudarshini Fernandopulle said prisoners convicted of serious crimes related to drugs, rape, and child abuse will not be released.
Over 1,000 coronavirus cases have been detected among inmates in Sri Lanka's prison system.
Sri Lanka has so far reported 23,484 confirmed cases and 116 deaths.
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