Sri Lanka’s Justice Ministry announced granting a presidential pardon and freeing condemned prisoners under a special presidential amnesty if they have reached the age of 70.
The ministry said rapists and murderers will be given the amnesty without considering the severity of their crimes as long as they have reached 70 years of age by May 21, 2016.
The ministry did not say how many prisoners would qualify under the bizarre amnesty, but a total of 540, which includes those who have been unable to pay fines, will be released on Vesak day.
President Maithripala Sirisena has granted the amnesty on a recommendation of Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha, a statement from the ministry said. (COLOMBO, May 20, 2016)