Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Sunday pardoned at least 5,654 prisoners and ordered their release in stages to avoid COVID-19 spread in the country’s overcrowded jails.
The king also ordered authorities to take “all the necessary measures to reinforce the protection of prison detainees.
Morocco, a country of 35 million people, has an estimated 232 detainees per 100,000 inhabitants.
The decision was part of the measures put in place by authorities in the Maghreb nation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Coronavirus has infected 960 people and killed 66 others in Morocco.
The country’s justice ministry said in a statement the detainees that would be freed were selected based on their age, health, good conduct and length of detention.
“They would be released in stages due to “exceptional circumstances linked to the emergency health situation and necessary precautions” against the virus,” the ministry said in the statement.
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