COVID-19: 400 Prisoners Absolved To Control COVID-19 In Mali

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Mali President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has absolved 400 prisoners as a means of controlling the spread of corona-virus, his office said on Tuesday.

Preacher Bandiougou Doumbia who was jailed for two years in March for comments notably praising jihadist leaders Iyad Ag Ghali and Amadou Koufa was among those released.

“As part of anti-COVID-19 measures, the president of the republic has granted pardons to 400 prisoners including the preacher Bandiougou Doumbia” the presidency announced on social media.

All those absolved except Doumbia were due for release in January 2021 Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly told AFP, adding that the move helps ease the pressure at crowded prisons.

No information was given on the identity or profiles of the other prisoners involved.

Many other countries, including fellow African nations such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger and South Africa have announced similar releases of prisoners, who are particularly at risk from the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN agencies, including th World Health Organization, have called for governments to take measures to protect those being detained, suggesting that non-violent prisoners can be released to avoid the spread of the virus.

Mali has registered 1,500 corona-virus cases, including 53 fatalities.

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