Hundreds of Sri Lankan prisoners released after prison riots due to corona fears

Sri Lanka has released hundreds of prisoners and said it will release thousands more after fears of a coronavirus outbreak killed nine inmates and injured 113 in prison riots. News from AFP.

Guards fired shots to bring the situation under control when inmates stormed the Mahara prison on the outskirts of Colombo on Sunday night demanding release, as coronavirus infections increased.

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday granted amnesty to 636 prisoners across the country. Justice Minister Ali Sabri said the government was working to speed up the release of thousands of prisoners on bail to ease the pressure on prisons.

Rajapaksa has already sacked prison reform minister Sudarshani Fernandopul and transferred her to a new epidemic ministry.

Sri Lanka’s prisons hold more than 30,000 inmates, nearly three times their capacity. According to official figures, 1,200 people in the prison tested positive for corona and two died.

In Sri Lanka, the death toll from Kovid-19 rose sixfold last month to 118, and infections more than doubled to 24,000.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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