Ankara, April 14 (IANS) Turkey’s Parliament on Tuesday passed a law that will allow the release of tens of thousands of prisoners to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the jails.
“The draft has become law after being accepted,” the official Twitter account for Parliament’s General Assembly said.
The bill was supported by 279 lawmakers in the 600-seat chamber while 51 voted against it.
According to the law, about 45,000 prisoners will be temporarily released under judicial control till the end of May, and the authorities can extend the period twice by a maximum of two months, reports Xinhua news agency.
Another batch of some 45,000 prisoners will be released permanently to reduce the overcrowding in jails.
However, those jailed for sex as well as drug crimes, first degree murder, crimes of violence against women and terrorist crimes were excluded from the reform, said the Anadolu News Agency.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul on Monday confirmed 17 cases of the novel coronavirus in five open prisons, while three inmates have died from the virus.
On Monday, the death toll in the country from the coronavirus rose to 1,296. The country has 61,049 confirmed cases.