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Coronoavirus: Mozambique moves to discongest overcrowded prisons

Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi has submitted a proposed amnesty bill for parliamentary approval seeking to pardon crimes punishable by up to one year in prison as part of a drive to descongest the country’s overcrowded jails and prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, APA can report on Saturday.In his proposed bill, Nyusi calls on the institutions that manage the  prison system to strictly adopt the preventive measures recommended by  health authorities.

“In this sense, assessing the situation of the penitentiary system,  characterized by constant challenges related to the management of  overcrowding in its establishments, with a prison population of more  than 21,000 prisoners, we find that penitentiaries are a high-risk place  for the spread of infectious diseases , among which COVID-19. We  recognize that this is not the best approach for the management of the  prison population, given the prevention of COVID-19 ”, reads the document seen by APA on Saturday.

The bill was submitted late on Friday.

President Nyusi also appeals to the judicial authorities to proceed with efficiency and procedural speed, prioritizing, whenever possible, alternative measures to prison, which may resort to the relief of penitentiaries.

So  far, Mozambique has ten confirmed cases of coronavirus but health conditions in its prisons are precarious.

In December last year, the National Prison Service announced that 51 prisoners had died in the country’s 81 prisons. 25 of them of AIDS and a further 21 from tuberculosis.

Published on 28.04.2020

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