Cuba has said it will release more than 3,500 prisoners in a goodwill gesture ahead of a visit by Pope Francis. The government in Havana says those to be freed include inmates due for conditional release next year, as well as a number of foreign prisoners. Those found guilty of crimes against state security will not be eligible, seemingly ruling out several high-profile political prisoners. The Pope will make a three-day visit to the island next week. According to Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma, prisoners were chosen for early release depending on the severity of their crimes, amount of time served, and good behaviour. Among those to be freed are a number of inmates over 60, prisoners under 20 years old with no prior criminal records and inmates with chronic health conditions. No prisoners with sentences for murder, other violent crimes or drug trafficking will be released, the paper said.
Cuba announces it will release prisoners as “goodwill gesture” ahead of pope’s visit
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/11/15
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