Mutharika pardons 272 prisoners

By Nyasa Times Reporter

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has pardoned 272 prisoners , it has been announced.

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Security said Mutharika had pardoned prisoners who had served half of their sentences and those with good behaviour and were not convicted of serious offences.

Mutharika, who retires in 2014 after his mandatory two terms in office, has in the past pardoned hundreds of inmates suffering from Aids-related and other terminal illnesses or who had shown remorse for their crimes.

Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, is ravaged by the Aids scourge and has nearly one million people infected with the pandemic.

Malawi maximum prison in Zomba

The 30 prisons, spread across the country’s 28 districts, house about 12,500 inmates, even though the capacity is 5,500.

Malawi prisons are ‘death traps’ for inmates plagued by overcrowding, malnutrition and rampant disease and that prisoners continue to suffer conditions which are generally poor; in some cases these amount to deliberate cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

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