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Cyprus

Fifty-six inmates get early release

Fifty-six convicts will be immediately released after their sentences were commuted by President Nicos Anastasiades to ease overpopulation and promote a correctional policy that contributes to reform.

The decision, made in consultation with the attorney-general, also affects 85 other convicts who will see their sentences cut.

Inmates convicted of manslaughter, attempted murder, and sexual offences were exempted.

It affects inmates who did not benefit from the general presidential pardon, which cut prison time by a quarter, because they were still awaiting sentencing.

The decision also includes people jailed for over five years for drugs-related cases who did not benefit from the general pardon, granted on March 5, 2013 when Anastasiades came to office.

Those with sentences up to 10 years had their time cut by one fifth, while those doing more than ten years had their time reduced by a year.

Foreign nationals convicted of illegal entry into the Republic will be released and deported at once.

Other foreign nationals released as part of the decision will also be deported immediately.

Foreign convicts who could not work outside prison for security reasons, had their sentence reduced by the period of time they would have normally spent in the work programme.

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