The Executive Director, POS Foundation, Jonathan Osei Owusu, has called on the President to activate article 72 of the constitution and grant amnesty to more inmates particularly those sentenced for minor offences, misdemeanors, petty offences.
He said in the times of COVID-19 if there were measures like amnesty for more people to go out, the numbers at the prisons would reduce drastically and the impact of any outbreak might come down.
He commended the government for granting some amnesty somewhere in March for 808 prisons, but that was so minute comparing the numbers in the prisons now, saying, “we need to also show mercy at this time while we are trying to protect them from any outbreak.”
Mr Osei Owusu made the call when POS Foundation together with its donor partners, Open Society Foundation and OSSIWA donated some Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) and some other items to the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, as part of their contribution towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the prisons.
He said as the President had eased the restrictions for some religious bodies and organizations, the prisons also needed decongestion to engage in their day to day activities freely from the COVID-19 virus.
He also called on the Prisons Council and authorities to factor drug users who were convicted onto the amnesty criteria, saying these were people who were friends, family members who were not violent drug users, who were probably influenced by friends to do so.
Deputy Superintendent of Prisons, Adamu Abdul Latif, of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, receiving the items on behalf of the Director of the Eastern Regional Command, expressed gratitude to POS Foundation for their support to the prisons and gave the assurance that the items would be channeled for the purpose for which they were donated.