President grants general amnesty to 512 prisoners to mark independence day

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has granted a General Amnesty for 512 prisoners to mark the Independence Day on February 4, a communique from the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The amnesty has been granted in accordance with powers vested in President by Article 34 of the Constitution and on the recommendation of Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Legal Reforms Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The PMD statement said that those who will be released have been serving jail terms after being convicted for minor offences such as theft, breach of trust and drunken driving. No one imprisoned on conviction for major offences such as rape, robbery, grave sexual abuse and soliciting bribe is in the list.

It also states that the amnesty will apply only to those prisoners who were actually in prison on January 31 this year and the effective date of release is February 4.