To mark the 60th anniversary of Cyprus independence, President Nicos Anastasiades has ordered the early release of 143 convicts serving time at the Central Prisons.
Their release was approved after legal advice from the Attorney General who sanctioned the move.
A statement by Nicosia Central Prison said 72 Cypriots and 71 foreigners will be released, following the president’s decision.
Five Cypriots and 9 foreigners have since been immediately released from prison.
Those convicted of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, sexual offences and offences against children were excluded from their sentence cut short, according to the selection criteria.
Also excluded from the early release were prisoners whose case is pending appeal by the Attorney General, as well as those who had previously benefited from a reduced sentence for the same offence.
The Central Prison said their release will have a positive effect on detainees and society while contributing to their smoother reintegration and helping to decongest the overcrowded prisons during the pandemic.