The President of the semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has pardoned 46 prisoners in Galkaayo and Garowe jails excluded those on death row or serving life sentences as his government seeks to decongest overcrowded prisons.
Although a presidential decree issued Saturday did not mention reports or recommendations made by an advisory council to free some 46 prisoners, it said they were based on a section of the constitution.
Several prisons executed the release orders on Saturday, freeing 13 inmates in Galkaayo Central Jail based on the new criteria outlined by the Presidency.
33 other inmates who are to be pardoned are currently serving jail terms in the Central prison in Garowe town ranging from three months to five years for various offences including civil misconduct.
The prisoners’ release comes as part of president’s keenness to give inmates an opportunity to start a new life and bring about stability to their families.
President said immediately the inmates are released, they should make use this opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and avoid engaging in anything which would amount to violation of the law.
The rationale of pardon is to provide strong motive to other prisoners to rehabilitate and reform so as to be pardoned in the future.
Garowe has highly overcrowded prisons with poor facilities, which always alarms human rights activists.