Indonesia frees 18,000 inmates from bursting jails over virus fears
Majene, Indonesia: Indonesia has released some 18,000 inmates in a desperate bid to stop coronavirus from rampaging through its notoriously overcrowded prison system, authorities said Thursday.
The mass release comes days after the Southeast Asian nation said it would free more than 30,000 inmates to take pressure off prisons and jails beset by unsanitary conditions and long at risk of infectious diseases.
The UN has called on countries to release vulnerable inmates, with Afghanistan last week announcing it would set free some 10,000 prisoners.
“Our target is to release 30,000 inmates in total, but it could end up being more,” said Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the Corrections Directorate General.
“This is part of the plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.”
She offered few details, but a government release order included juvenile offenders and adult prisoners who had served at least two-thirds of their sentences.
Prisoners were advised to self quarantine at home after release. - AFP