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NEWS

Short Update: Ghana pardons hundreds of prisoners, imposes harsh penalties for failing to wear masks

FairTrialsAdmin - July 9, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prisoner releases, New criminal offences

Ghana has pardoned 794 prisoners, mostly first time offenders who have served at least half of their sentences, in an effort to reduce prison populations. In March, the government released 808 inmates, again mostly first-time offenders. There has been one confirmed case at a maximum security prison and isolated reported cases in police cells. Ghana’s health service says it is screening prison visitors and new inmates before admission, and some prisons have set up isolation centres where new inmates are housed for two to four weeks before joining the general population.  

Police have begun enforcing mask wearing in Accra, Ghana’s capital and largest city. An executive order makes face masks mandatory in public across the entire country. Failure to obey is punishable by four to ten years in prison, a fine of 12,000-60,000 cedis (approx. USD 2,000-10,000), or both.  

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