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Jakarta Post

Suspicions emerge over plan to grant inmates early release

  • Galih Gumelar

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 7 2020   /  12:58 am
Free at last: Former inmates hold up letters confirming their release from the overcrowded Tanjung Gusta penitentiary in Medan, North Sumatra, on Thursday. A total of 143 of the penitentiary’s inmates will be released in stages this week to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the correctional facility. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)(JP/Apriadi Gunawan)

Free at last: Former inmates hold up letters confirming their release from the overcrowded Tanjung Gusta penitentiary in Medan, North Sumatra, on Thursday. A total of 143 of the penitentiary’s inmates will be released in stages this week to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the correctional facility. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)The government is facing scrutiny over its plan to grant inmates early release as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in overcrowded correctional facilities, with some alleging a proposal to free graft convicts is motivated by ulterior political interests.

A plan to release inmates, including graft convicts, was first brought up by Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly in a virtual meeting with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs last week. He said overcrowding in prisons could worsen the spread of COVID-1...