Cameroon releases about 1,000 prisoners amid COVID-19 pandemic

Cameroon and Chad

Cameroonian authorities had released around 1,000 prisoners to prevent spread of COVID-19, according to the country’s Ministry of Justice.

“We are hoping that this measure will stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our prisons. That is why the president decided that our prisons nationwide should be decongested,” said Amadou Souley, Director of Criminal matters and pardon in the Ministry of Justice.

Over 600 people were freed Thursday morning from one of the overcrowded prisons in Cameroon’s commercial capital Douala, local media reported.

Last week, Cameroonian President Paul Biya signed a decree reducing the sentences of the prisoners and paving the way for their early release. The decree excluded inmates convicted for embezzlement, corruption, and terrorism.

According to the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Cameroon has reported more than 1,100 COVID-19 cases, including 43 deaths. Enditem

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