Maleeka Bokhari, Parliamentary Secretary for Law & Justice: Release women, juveniles & elderly prisoners

Pakistan’s prisons are currently severely over-capacity, with a disproportionate amount of women, children, elderly offenders, physically and mentally incapacitated detainees, under-trial offenders and petty offenders in detention. Moreover, overcrowding makes implementation of social distancing and other preventative measures difficult, if not impossible, leaving prisoners highly susceptible to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministries of Law & Justice, Maleeka Bokhari, urges the federal and provincial governments to implement Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah’s judgement that lays down the parameters for the release of prisoners. Bokhari advises an audit of the prison population of Pakistan, and consider releasing women, juveniles, severely ill detainees and prisoners above 60 immediately to stymie overcrowding in prisons and the potential spread of novel-coronavirus.