By Ghina Ghaliya / The Jakarta Post

The authorities have granted more than 5,500 prisoners early release to help prevent a possible surge in coronavirus infections in Indonesia’s overcrowded prisons.

Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said on Wednesday during a virtual meeting with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs that he had raised the number of prisoners that were planned to be released to 50,000 people from 30,000. "As of today, at 11 a.m. according to our SDP [Correctional Database System], we have released 5,556 prisoners," he said.

"As of today, at 11 a.m. according to our SDP [Correctional Database System], we have released 5,556 prisoners," he said.

According to Yasonna, the ministry has two legal bases for the release, namely Human Rights Ministerial Regulation No. 10/2020 on terms and conditions of assimilation and integration for prisoners and juvenile inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as Human Rights Ministerial Decree No. 19/2020 on the release of prisoners and juvenile inmates through assimilation and integration to prevent the spread of COVID-19.