Prosecution releases 1,600 more detainees to decongest cells

A total of 1,673 detainees were provisionally released from different police stations countrywide on Monday, April 27 in bid to decongest detention centres amid COVID-19.

This batch of detainees is the largest since the move was announced early this month.


The exercise is being carried out by the National Public Prosecution Authority(NPPA), in collaboration with the Judiciary, Rwanda National Police and Rwanda Investigation Bureau.


As earlier announced by the Prosecutor General, Aimable Havugiyaremye, detainees released are in two categories;  those who are legible to pay a fine and be released without necessarily being produced in court, and suspects who can be released on a conditional basis among others.


However, those charged with serious crimes or recidivists do not benefit from this directive.

Speaking on the recent release, the Spokesman of NPPA, Faustin Nkusi told The New Times that the exercise will likely continue.

He said: "Though we are in lockdown, some people are still committing crimes and sent in detention centres. As the initiative(provisionally releasing detainees) is in line with decongesting these centres, it is possible to release others if detainees continue increasing amid lockdown."

Nkusi also noted that: "Those who are provisionary released are given some conditions like where to not go among others, and they know that adhering to them is mandatory."

With over 200 cumulative COVID-19 cases confirmed in the country, Rwanda is under lockdown that will go through April 30 to help contain this pandemic.

Courts are among activities that were affected by this directive, meaning that suspects cannot be produced before courts so that they can either be remanded in prison facilities or granted bail.

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