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Libya’s GNA frees 1300 Detainees Amid COVID-19 Fears

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The Judicial Police Authority of the Government National Accord (GNA), announced that the Reform and Rehabilitation Institution has released 1300 prisoners. The decision comes amid efforts to reduce the number of prisoners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the which is transmitted through close contact.

The Institution clarified in a statement that the decision was based on orders by the office of the Public Prosecutor. This comes amid a previous release of 82 prisoners on March 26th. The prisoners would undergo a comprehensive medical examination before being released, according to Abdel Ghani Al Harati, the head of the Judicial Police Authority.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned Libya’s authorities of the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in prisons. In a statement, HRW called on the authorities to be prepared to limit the spread of the virus in overcrowded detention facilities, and shelters for displaced people. It also called on the Libyan authorities to release children and wives of suspected Islamic State fighters who are held in Al-Jawiyya Prison in Misrata and Mitiga Prison in Tripoli, who remain in detention without charge.

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