On Wednesday, the Afghan government released 253 prisoners from Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi detention center.
The head of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison stated that based on the presidential decree, they have released 5,374 prisoners in order to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19. This follows Ghani's order last month for the release of at least 10,000 prisoners from detention centers.
Ahmad Rashid Totakhil, head of the general directorate of prisons, said that the measures were implemented in jails to avoid the outbreak of Covid-19. He also stated that they have no reported or suspected cases of the virus in the detention centers yet.
“First, we want to implement the president’s decree, and, second, we want to further execute the recommended measures. Third, we want to carry out the latest measures recommended in jails,” said Totakhil.
Based on President Ashraf Ghani’s decree, those prisoners who are accused of being involved in ‘terror’ activities will not be released from the jails.
Abdul Raziq, a criminal, stated that he was arrested and sentenced to jail for drug smuggling. “I’ve been released; my jail term has completed. I want to go home now, but I don’t have the money to do so,” hee said.
“There are a lot of problems, a couple being poverty and unemployment. We are forced to do something illegal to find bread for our children,” said Ghulam Haidar, another released prisoner.
On the other hand, the spread of coronavirus has accelerated with 70 reported cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected persons to 784 in Afghanistan, according to health officials, who added that a majority of these cases are from the provinces of Kabul and Herat.