Presidential pardon to 762 prisoners on Vesak Day

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A total of 762 prisoners would be released on presidential pardon in view of the Vesak Poya which falls on Saturday, the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry said today.

It said the national ceremony would be held under the aegis of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Welikada Prison ground to release all 762 prisoners at 10 am on Vesak Poya Day.

Twenty six female prisoners are among the prisoners who would be given presidential pardon.

“Prisoners from some 30 prisons, including 117 from Welikada Prison, 62 from Pallekelle Prison, 55 from Mahara Prison, 50 from Anuradhapura Prison and 53 from Pallansena Prison will be given presidential pardon,” the ministry said.

It said the pardon will be given according to the 34 clause of the Constitution and that 762 is the largest number of prisoners ever to be released on a presidential pardon.

“Those who are in prison for committing minor crimes will be released.

However, those who have been convicted for rape, child abuse and drug offences, would not be released,” the ministry said.