Luzira – The Uganda Prisons Service has, on Monday, April 27, confirmed the pardon and release of 883 prisoners from their facilities across the nation.
While speaking to the media, Uganda Prisons Services Spokesperson, Frank Baine confirmed the development citing the 833 prisoners released was an effort to decongest prisons amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
On April 6, the Commissioner-General of Uganda Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija, disclosed that government was planning to decongest prisons by pardoning over 2,000 inmates as one of the ways to decongest prisons in a move to control the spread of COVID-19.
Byabasahija made this revelation while addressing the media at parliament after his appearance before the parliamentary committee on appointments for vetting following the renewal of his contract by President Museveni.
He said that inmates who were on light sentences and those who had covered three-quarters of their sentences are being considered. Others to be considered for pardon include; breastfeeding mothers and those inmates aged above 65 years.
“We are going to submit the list to the Attorney General for consideration of pardon in order to decongest the prisons. Secondly, we are also writing to the registrar of courts of judicature to release remands who have reached their remand mandatory period. This is not for capital offenders,” Byabashaija said.
He added that apart from decongesting the prisons, they have also isolated prisons around across the country where new prisoners are being held for the moment, also all prison staff have been prohibited from going back to their homes as one of the measures to contain the spread of the virus.