Burundi on Monday launched an operation to release 2,500 inmates, including political prisoners, following a presidential pardon.

Burundian Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana launched the operation at Mpimba prison in the East African country’s capital Bujumbura.

The operation followed the pardon announced by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in his New Year message to the nation.

“The presidential pardon targets 2,500 inmates detained in all prisons countrywide. But this pardon is special as it also targets political prisoners,” Kanyana said.

The minister said 58 people from the opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) have been pardoned. The pardon also targets insurgents who participated in the protests against the candidature of Nkurunziza in April 2015, she said.

According to her, over 300 inmates were released at Mpimba prison during the launch of the operation. The operation targets about 600 inmates at Mpimba prison alone.

She indicated that the operation will continue at other prisons.

The presidential pardon targets inmates whose jail sentences were less than five years or who have already spent three fourths of their jail terms or have behaved well behind bars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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