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Rwanda releases from jail dozens women convincted for abortion

Rwandan President Paul Kagame President has granted pardon to 10 women convicted of illegal abortion, according to of the resolutions from cabinet meeting obtained by APA Saturday.All  women were released immediately under the presidential prerogative, it said.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred upon him by the laws … the president of the republic informed the cabinet meeting that he has exercised his prerogative of mercy and pardoned 10 persons convicted for the offences of abortion, complicity in abortion and infanticide,” the statement added.

The 10 women convicts are in different female prison facilities across the country in Ngoma (East), Nyamagabe (South), Muhanga (South), and Musanze (North) detention facilities.

Since 2018, the Rwandan government revised its penal code, which had previously imposed prison sentences on anyone having an abortion or assisting someone to terminate a pregnancy. Under the new law, abortion is allowed in cases of rape, forced marriage, incest, or instances where the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or foetus.

In a related development, the Rwandan cabinet also approved the release on parole of 4,781 convicts to be released under different conditions.

Release on parole means that a prisoner is released before the official end of his or her prison sentence and will not be sent back to prison if their behaviour is good while serving the remaining period in community, subject to conditions.

Published on 10.02.2021

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