38,000 pre-coup Turkish prisoners being released

Istanbul—Turkey will grant early release to some 38,000 prisoners who committed crimes before July 1, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Wednesday, amid reports of prison overcrowding after the failed coup.
Bozdag said in a series of messages on Twitter that the move was “not an amnesty” and the convicts were not being pardoned but released on parole. It will not apply to convicts guilty of murder, terrorism or state security crimes, or the thousands jailed after the putsch which took place on July 15. “The regulation refers to crimes committed before July 2016. The crimes committed after July 1 2016 are outside its scope,” Bozdag said.
“As a result of this regulation, approximately 38,000 people will be released from closed and open prisons at the first stage.”
The timing means that it is impossible that anyone detained for complicity in the coup can be released as part of the mass parole move.
There have been reports in Turkish media that jails in the country were suffering severe overcrowding due to the influx of tens of thousands of prisoners in the wake of the failed July 15 coup.—Agencies

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