President Paul Kagame on Thursday exercised his prerogative of mercy and pardoned 52 persons convicted for the offenses of abortion and infanticide.
This is contained in a statement released after yesterday's Cabinent meeting.
Speaking to The New Times on Friday, Justice Minister and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, said that the presidential pardon means that the President exercises his power of mercy to give people another chance.
“These are very young girls who, under various stressful conditions, commited abortion and infanticide. And the President finds it fitting to give them a second chance. They were convicted for the offences for which the President is allowed by the Constitution to grant mercy,” Busingye told The New Times.
He added: “It is a gesture that is very good for us; that’s how we received it and I guess the beneficiaries also. It is also recognition of how they have conducted themselves while in prison; and the law allows it.”
According to the minister, the pardon also "tells them that 'please go home and conduct yourself in ways that respect the law and don’t re-offend again and be law-abiding citizens.'”
Busingye could not readily say when the first freed young woman would walk out of jail citing prerequisite formalities, but noted that the process would be completed not later than Saturday.
The presidential mercy for abortion and infanticide convicts came on the eve of the celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child, which takes place today.
The theme for this year’s International Day for the Girl Child is, “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”.