Turkey’s parliament has approved legislation that will free some 90,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party and nationalist MHP allies supported the bill, which was passed with 279 votes for and 51 votes against, deputy parliament speaker Sureyya Sadi Bilgic told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey’s justice minister Abdulhamit Gul said on Monday there were 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus among prisoners, including three deaths. He also said 79 prisoners had also tested positive.
However, that does not include journalists and activists, who will remain behind bars.
They were arrested on “terrorism” charges in the crackdown following the 2016 coup.