Of the 3959 prisoners available, over 900 are being considered for possible release and some have already left the prison system.
Attorney General Faris Al Rawi made the announcement during a press conference this morning, adding that the inmates, “are low risk prisoners who have monitored over the entire course of their incarceration, and they have been lawfully discharged out of prison via the Commissioner of Prions power, under the prison rules and prisons act.”
At a previous press conference, Al Rawi said the Government planed to release low risk prisoners as a way as to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country’s prisons. These include those inmates who are convicted and those who are on on remand- those not yet under trial with no conviction.
Al Rawi confirmed that 1,115 persons in the penal system have been charged for murder and, therefore, are not entitled to access bail.
He said when considering the broad range of persons identified for release, they considered two factors.
“One, where you are awaiting trial, you have been granted bail but you cannot access bail, quite essentially and simply put ,because you are too poor to access bail…you’ve not met the conditions of bail. The second category of course is people who are convicted. Persons who are convicted and may have appealed and therefore be entitled to the right for consideration of bail or they may be serving sentences and coming to the end of their sentence, and more importantly they may be there for very minor offences for which the President of the Republic may consider granting mercy via pardons route under the constitution.”
Persons who have committed serious offences such as such as offences against a person, dangerous drugs, kidnapping, trafficking in persons, rape, offences against children, all sexually offences of a particularly heavy type, anti-terrorism, firearms and others also cannot be considered.
Al Rawi said that the Government considered eight simple categories for persons for whom we may consider to be release out of prisons:
- persons convicted of summary offences- 84 people
- persons convicted summarily of indictable offences- 62 people
- persons of indictable offences- 1
- children convicted or summary and indictable offences- 33 children
- persons charged with summary offences but unable to access bail -137 people
- children charged with summary and indictable offences, including those who are convicted but granted bail pending appeal- 16
- persons serving terms of imprisonment in default of fines- 44 people
- persons who are convicted of summary offences or persons convicted summarily of indictable offences who have sentenced to terms of imprisonment exceeding one year but where the exception is that you are in your final year of term- 459 people