Bangladesh to release selective prisoners in late April

Originally published by Dhaka Tribune on 17 Apr 2020

Summary

As part of its efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Bangladesh government is considering the release of prisoners who have been jailed for minor offenses or who have completed most of their jail terms.

Specifically, around 800 prisoners who have already served around 20 years of their prison terms will be considered for release. Additionally, jail authorities are also preparing a separate list of prisoners who have been jailed for minor offenses (sentenced to a term of one year or less) or who are facing trial. The number of prisoners in that category is estimated to be around 3,000. The government expects these prisoners to be released by the end of April.

The government decided to make this move after considering the overcrowded situation in most jails in Bangladesh, as overcrowded prisons are vulnerable to the spread of the disease.

As of March, there were about 90,000 prisoners at 68 prisons across Bangladesh, against a capacity of only 41,000 inmates.