Afghanistan releases several prisoners amid COVID-19 concerns

Kabul: The Afghan authorities on Sunday decided to release “a number of prisoners” as part of measures undertaken to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad urged the Taliban and the Afghan government to immediately release captured prisoners as agreed to in the peace process in light of COVID-19. He said the matter was discussed during a four-party video-conference on Sunday.

“A number of detainees are being released as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the administration of the Prisons Regulatory Authority and officials of the country’s judicial bodies are set to develop a specific plan on the release of prisoners within 48 hours.

So far, Afghanistan has confirmed 34 COVID-19 cases.

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