Ethiopia pardons more than 4,000 prisoners to help prevent coronavirus spread

Originally published by CNN, Bukola Adebayo on 25 March 2020


This article discusses the decision of Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewede to pardon 4,011 prisoners in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the country. The directive from the Ethiopian leader was limited to the release of only prisoners given a sentence of three years for minor crimes and those with impending release dates. At the orders issuance, Ethiopia maintained a small infection rate, with only 12 confirmed cases according to the WHO. However, the decision can be understood as both a part of Ethiopia’s developing social distancing policies and attempts to conserve funds and non-financial resources.