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

Originally published by CNN, Bukola Adebayo on 25 March 2020

Summary

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.