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NEWS

Short Update: Imprisonment in Germany can be interrupted or postponed

FairTrialsAdmin - April 7, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prisoner releases

With regard to the COVID-19 crisis, the German Federal State ("Bundesland") North Rhine Westphalia has ordered the heads of 36 prisons to release prisoners who are serving a short prison sentence of up to 18 months. The measure applies, inter alia, to prisoners who would have been released by July 20. The measure affects about 1,000 of the approximately 16,000 inmates and detainees in North Rhine-Westphalia's prisons. However, the provision excludes sexual offenders. North Rhine Westphalia also instructed the three Chief Prosecutors of North Rhine Westphalia not to detain criminals serving prison sentences of up to one year. In these cases, warrants for execution and searches for wanted criminals should be temporarily suspended.  

In Bremen and Bremerhaven, prisoners were released under certain conditions in order to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading in the two prisons, while in Hamburg prisoners who have been sentenced to a maximum of 18 months imprisonment will be temporarily released for three months. After that they will have to return to prison. The measure will affect a maximum of 60 of the approximately 1,800 prisoners. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected] 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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