Lawyer Alexandros Clerides said he was pleased over a satisfactory meeting with the director of the president’s office, Charalambos Charalambous on Friday, after the prisoners’ rights protection association, which he represents, staged a protest over the application of the presidential pardon, which put 75 prisoners on track to be released.

Announced last week, the pardons will see the prisoners’ sentences reduced to a quarter, but exclude those who have been convicted of drug trafficking and supply offences, sexual offences, murder and child abuse offences.

The announcement sparked reactions from the association, which said some inmates who should have been excluded were pardoned and warned of coming protests.

Members of the association went to the presidential palace to deliver a list of demands. According to Clerides, the discussion was very positive and they left with the best impressions.

“As an association they have created a direct bridge of communication with the presidential palace and were able to express their positions directly,” he said.

“They received a promise that what they discussed today will be studied and that they will be called to a meeting again for the final treatment of the matter”.

In the memo they delivered they detail how the presidential pardon should be applied equally to all prisoners, which is also their request, Clerides said.

Earlier, association head Anna Antoniou said that the protest was being held to call on the president to actually grant the pardons he promised because “too many exemptions have been made”.

To illustrate, she said that of the 127 people who received a pardon, 70 are foreign and most of them are still behind bars.

Antoniou pointed out that before the election, Christodoulides had promised that he would pardon several people, noting that beyond prison walls, other people associated with the prisoner are affected.

The association’s request, she said, is for the president to look again at the list of those imprisoned and not to make so many exceptions.