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March 22, 2020

PHC petitioned for release of all prisoners due to coronavirus threat

National

March 22, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has been approached for the release of all the prisoners in jails due to the threat of the spread of coronavirus.

Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel advocate filed the writ petition on Saturday. He stated that there are 77,000 prisoners in jails across the country despite that the premises could accommodate 55,000 people. The petitioner said the prisoners should be released due to the extraordinary situation being faced by the country and the world in the shape of coronavirus. The lawyer stated that the jails across the country were already overcrowded where there were no adequate arrangements for their safety in case of the spread of the virus. The writ stated that keeping prisoners in jails in the current circumstances would be a violation of basic human rights. It added that several countries including Iran have relaxed rules for the prisoners due to the prevailing situation that can be a serious threat to people accommodated at one place. The petitioner stated that those under trial be released on bail on surety bonds since the revenue offices were already closed. Those who are sick and cannot pay fines and those from abroad should also be released, it said, adding other cases should also be disposed of soon so that the number of prisoners can be reduced in jails. The PHC was requested to ensure proper health facilities for prisoners in all the jails. The KP govt has already announced two-month remission in imprisonment for the prisoners across the province due to the threat of coronavirus to ensure release of a large number of prisoners. Most of the jails in the country lack the basic health facilities and are overcrowded.