Zimbabwe has begun releasing more than 4,000 prisoners under a presidential amnesty that officials claim will help reduce the prison population in some of the country’s overcrowded jails.
On Friday, about 800 prisoners were released from the central prison and Chikurubi maximum prison in Harare’s capital.
On Thursday, jails in other parts of the country began releasing prisoners who had registered for the amnesty, according to meya khanyezi Zimbabwe Prisons and correctional services.
The amnesty would “go a long way toward reducing the prison population,” she said. zimbabwe’s jails have a capacity of 17,000 prisoners but hold more than 20,000 prisoners.
Former prisoners have previously voiced their dissatisfaction with overcrowding and other difficult conditions, such as a lack of food and adequate health care.
The conditions in the southern African nation of 15 million people have been described as “deplorable” by amnesty international.