Amnesty for 622 prisoners to mark Independence Day | Sunday Observer

Amnesty for 622 prisoners to mark Independence Day

5 February, 2023

Six hundred and twenty two prisoners were freed on a presidential pardon in view of yesterday’s 75th national independence anniversary.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe ordered their release under the powers vested in him under Article 34 of the Constitution. The number of prisoners released on Independence Day last year was 197, Prisons Department Spokesman and Commissioner Chandana Ekanayaka said.

It has been a tradition in the country to offer a presidential amnesty to prisoners on their excellent conduct to mark the national Independence Day. He said the Presidential remission would allow them to start afresh and lead reasonable and lawful lives.

The Prisons Department released the prisoners from island-wide prisons. They obtained an early release based on their excellent behaviour for eligibility.

The prisoners sentenced to short-term sentences for drug-related offences and others serving long-term prison sentences of forty years on account of various convictions but had served more than half their sentence in a praiseworthy manner have been set free this year on the orders of the President.

This amnesty did not apply to those convicted of murder, armed robbery, serious drug offences, and rape, Ekanayake said.