President Paul Kagame on Friday July 30 exercised his prerogative of mercy by granting pardon to all 10 women convicted of illegal abortion during the cabinet meeting.

The development was confirmed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye.

The cabinet also approved the release on parole of 4,781 convicts to be released under different conditions.

Speaking to The New Times, Senior Superintendent of Prisons (SSP) Pelly Uwera Gakwaya, the spokesperson of Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) told The New Times that the convicts will be released with immediate effect once the official gazette is issued.

The 10 women convicts are in different female prison facilities across the country in Ngoma, Nyamagabe, Muhanga, and Musanze Prisons.

“He gave pardon to only 10 women because they are the ones who had finished the litigation procedures and had been given prison sentences,” she said.

Based on the Rwandan constitution, the President of the Republic has the authority to exercise the prerogative of mercy in accordance with the procedures provided for by law.

According to SSP Gakwaya, the 4,781 convicts to be released on parole consist of 4,617 men and 164 women.

“The official gazette will also inform specific conditions by which they will live in the community, if they violate them, they might be sent back to prison to finish their sentence and face additional years,” she said.

Release on parole means that a prisoner is released before the official end of his or her prison sentence and will not be sent back to prison if their behaviour is good while serving the remaining period in community, subject to conditions.

This was communicated in the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, which also informed other different resolutions by the cabinet.


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