As Libya’s two conflicting eastern and western governments race to address the novel coronavirus with measures that include the release of prisoners, judicial and security authorities in the country's east announced examining the cases of hundreds of detainees in order to release them within days.
Libya’s eastern-based government police spokesman Lieutenant Asadiq Al-Zawi revealed that authorities are preparing to take a general amnesty decision that will see to the release of hundreds of detainees.
Those deemed harmless to society, who served half of their sentence or who have a five-year or less sentences will be released, Al-Zawi said.
“The Ministry of Justice prepared lists of the names of those who met these conditions, and it was sent to the Supreme Judicial Council,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“We expect the response from the Council within a few days, and as a result of that we will, as an executive body overseeing prisons, release a number of prisoners,” Al-Zawi added.
He noted that eastern-based authorities had released 160 suspects that were arrested and under investigation for petty crimes.
General amnesty, however, will not be granted to those arrested for crimes such as murder, terrorism, and drug dealing.
Libya’s western-based Government of National Accord (GNA) had released nearly 500 prisoners as part of its action plan to combat the new coronavirus.
Commenting on the release, Al-Zawi said that a majority of those freed are involved in heinous crimes, something that has left the capital, Tripoli, frazzled.
Al-Zawi added that the GNA has also released those eligible for recruitment and deployment to battlefronts against the Libyan National Army (LNA).
More so, Al-Zawi reassured that no case of the new coronavirus was registered in prisons run by the eastern-based government.