Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu pardons over 5,000 prisoners to mark 60 years of independence

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu

DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has pardoned 5,704 prisoners as part of celebrations to mark the east African nation’s 60 years of independence, a minister announced on Monday.

The Minister for Home Affairs, George Simbachawene, said prisoners covered under the presidential amnesty are those that have served over a quarter of their jail terms and who were jailed before Oct. 9, 2021.

Simbachawene told a press conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that the president has also pardoned prisoners aged over 70 years, pregnant women and mothers who were jailed with babies, and prisoners with physical or mental disabilities.

However, the minister said the health conditions of prisoners with physical or mental disabilities should be certified by regional or district medical officers in areas where their prisons were located.

Simbachawene added that other beneficiaries of the presidential amnesty are prisoners that have been in jail for 15 years and those under detention.

The minister said prisoners serving life sentences, facing death sentences and those jailed for corruption, illegal weapons, rape, drugs abuse and human trafficking will not be considered for the amnesty.

He said others that will not benefit from the amnesty are prisoners convicted of impregnating schoolgirls and armed robbery. Tanzania marked its 60th Independence Anniversary on Dec. 9.

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