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Kenya Goes Online to Decongest its Prisons as a Way to Curtail Coronavirus

In the past month, the East African country has released 4800 prisoners in different parts of the country, according to Anne Amadi, the chief registrar of the judiciary in Kenya. “We prioritized getting a lot of people out of prison, especially petty offenders. Those who are in prison for a short term and those who have been there for a long time but have just about six months and below to go… of the country. All our 39 high court stations have released people. Most of them, a good number, through Skype or Zoom,” she added. In Mombasa high court, Kenyan Judge, Eric Ogola delivered 23 judgments in his chambers through Skype on March 30. According to a message posted on Twitter by the Kenya Judiciary, Ogola was on video calls with suspects at the Shimo la Tewa prison. The suspects took turns appearing on camera, as he read out his verdict. Law courts in Malindi, southeastern Kenya also held sessions on March 23 via Skype’s video conferencing session, according to local media. In Taita Taveta, one of the country’s counties, Voi High court Judge, Farah Amin processed 24 cases on Skype and issued orders for the release of 23 petty offenders from Wundanyi prison.