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Over 5000 prisoners given a presidential pardon in Tanzania

The pardon happened on the day the country was marking its 57th commemoration of Union Day

President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania has pardoned more than 5,000 prisoners while commemorating the Union Day.

While delivering her speech,President Samia urged the released inmates to put into practice the lessons they learnt in prison and lead responsible lives when re-joining their communities.

She urged them to join their fellow citizens in building the nation and observing the law as they get back to society.

The president said the pardon was in line with the 57th commemoration of the unification of the people of Tanzania and their counterparts from Zanzibar.

Of the pardoned prisoners, 1,516 were released after serving a quarter of their sentence. This is under the standard one-third sentence reduction provided for in chapter 58 of the Tanzanian Prisons Act.

A further 3,485 inmates have had their sentences reduced by a quarter, this being in observation of the provisions in the Prisons Act.

Union Day marks the coming together of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the Republic of Tanzania on 26 of April 1964 and pardoning prisoners on Union Day is an annual tradition.

Last year, 3,973 prisoners were pardoned by the late President John Pombe Magufuli in order to ease congestion in prisons.

It is estimated that about 35,000 prisoners are reported to be jailed in Tanzania’s prisons.

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