Colombia temporarily releases 4,000 prisoners over coronavirus

Colombia temporarily releases 4,000 prisoners over coronavirus

PanARMENIAN.Net - Colombia on Wednesday, April 15 ordered the temporary release of more than 4,000 prisoners, in an effort to reduce overcrowding and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, AFP reveals.

Two prisoners have already died from COVID-19 in the South American country.

The "humanitarian" releases are aimed at ensuring "that the people most vulnerable to the virus can get out of prison confinement and go to house arrest and improve their health protection," President Ivan Duque said on Colombian radio.

Among prisoners to benefit are those aged over 60, those with illness or disabilities, those who have served at least 40 percent of their sentence, breastfeeding mothers and others with children under three years old, said Justice Minister Margarita Cabello.

After six months, the prisoners will have to return to prison to serve out their sentences. Breaking the terms of their house arrest would lead to them being re-imprisoned, the minister said.

Colombia has recorded more than 3,000 coronavirus infections, including 131 deaths.

Photo. AFP/DANIEL MUNOZ
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