Iran, on March 29 temporarily freed nearly 1,0000 inmates from prisons in a bid to curb the spread of deadly coronavirus, international media reported citing judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili. The pandemic has till now infected 38,309 and killed 2,640 people across the Shiite nation.
Speaking in a televised address about the prisoners, Esmaili revealed, "As of now, around 100,000 have been released." This comes as the country’s president Hassan Rouhani recently ordered officials to extend the temporary leave of prisoners to April 20. The recent release would raise the number of free to more than double of the 54,000 released early this month.
Many other countries have also been freeing prisoners to stop the spread of the pandemic. On March 29, authorities in Yemen ordered the release of all Bahai prisoners as well as a pardon for Hamed bin Haydara, a member of the community, whose death sentence was recently upheld by an appeals court in Sana'a, according to an official statement issued by India's Bahai association. The international Bahai community welcomes the announcement and calls for its immediate implementation, it said.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan government on March 26 decided to release up to 10,000 prisoners in the wake of the coronavirus scare. Prisoners, including women and children, will be released on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's decree. The Afghan government said that those being released will 'not pose a major threat'.
According to TOLO News, the Afghan Public Health Minister said that prisoner release was the only precaution in the absence of 'vaccine or treatment'. It was reported that criminals who have acted against national, international security and are imprisoned under terror-related crimes are not a part of this release. The Taliban or Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists are not included in this list. In India, Tihar Jail officials on March 28, announced that about 356 prisoners were released on 45-day interim bail while 63 have been released on emergency parole of eight weeks, as a preventive measure against the spread of deadly COVID-19.
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