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Macedonia backs amnesty to deal with overcrowded prisons

January 15, 2018

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonian parliament has adopted an amnesty bill to ease overcrowding in the country’s prisons, which have faced acute criticism for their inhumane conditions.

According to the law passed Monday, about 670 convicts serving sentences of up to six months will be released from prison. More than 3,000 prisoners who received sentences longer than six months will have those sentences reduced by one third.

The bill excludes convicts sentenced to life imprisonment and prisoners convicted of murder, electoral irregularities, sex offences, and crimes against the state.

Macedonia’s left-wing Prime Minister Zoran Zaev recently visited the country’s largest correctional facility, Idrizovo, near the capital Skopje and said he was “ashamed” of being a prime minister of a country with such prison conditions.

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