CHRAGG hails JPM’s decision to pardon 3973 inmates, decongest prisons

08May 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
CHRAGG hails JPM’s decision to pardon 3973 inmates, decongest prisons

​​​​​​​THE Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) has hailed President John Magufuli’s decision to pardon 3973 inmates and termed it a major step to contain the spread of Covid 19 in prisons.

CHRAGG Chairperson Judge (Rtd) Mathew Mwaimu.

CHRAGG Chairperson Judge (Rtd) Mathew Mwaimu made the remarks at his office in Dodoma when he was giving his views on the government efforts in fighting the pandemic.

He explained that the decision was important especially this time when all the countries worldwide have engaged in a war to fight against the pandemic.

He further elaborated that the release could help reduce congestion of inmates who are at risk of contacting the pandemic due to social crowding.

“Basically the decision by the president would help to protect health rights of the citizens. We as a commission believe that the decision was reached with goodwill to protect citizens against the pandemic,” said Judge Mwaimu.

According to him, the government may continue reducing congestion in prisons through the use of various laws which are in place including the Law of Parole which permits prisoners who seem to have good behaviour to remain in the community while subjected to supervision and other conditions specified.

Besides, Judge Mwaimu has advised police officers who have been alleged to have a tendency of framing citizens into cases contrary to the law to stop doing so because that was one of the sources of overcrowding in prisons.

However, Judge Mwaimu applauded the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for his decision to visit prisons to reducing congestions by releasing inmates whose cases were baseless.

He asked the DPP to maintain the efforts so as to continue reducing overcrowding by annulling cases which lack evidences.

In addition, the chairman has a view that courts might have contributions in reducing overcrowding in prisons by providing reasonable conditions to cases that are baillable.

On the other hand, he asked police to provide bail to people who are suspected with cases that are bailable so as to reduce congestions at their stations.

April 26, 2020 on the commemoration of 56th Union Day, president Magufuli pardoned 3,973 prisoners, out of those pardoned 256 were facing death penalty but their sentences were changed to life sentences.

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