President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique has said he intends to pardon all prisoners who have served at least half their sentences and have shown “exemplary behaviour” while in prison.
The Mozambican leader will also pardon the elderly prisoners and those who are chronically ill.
President Nyusi said that although some of those previously pardoned had gone back to committing crime, it was no reason to deny pardon to those who have shown good behaviour.
Justice Minister Helena Kida told reporters that about 1,800 prisoners will benefit from President Nyusi’s pardon, and will all be released by the end of December.
The presidential pardon is expected to ease the pressure on Mozambique’s overcrowded prisons, where during the Covid-19 pandemic, conditions in the jails have become a threat to the health of inmates.
In April this year, parliament passed an amnesty law, specifically to deal with overcrowding and halt the spread of Covid-19 within the prisons. That amnesty released 5,032 prisoners serving sentences of one year or less.