By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Several former rebels in Chad regained their freedom Tuesday under an amnesty law decreed last year by transitional officials, according to authorities.
Twenty-two inmates who were condemned for treason were released from Klessoum prison near the capital, N'djamena, said Justice Minister Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo.
The law was put in place to benefit those convicted of acts of rebellion, with nearly 300 rebels and political dissidents granted amnesty.
Alhabo said the objective of a conviction was to allow the detainee to reflect on the crime and to change his behavior with a view to a dignified, responsible and civic social reintegration.
The implementation of measures for the remission of sentences, pardons and amnesties, constitute a new vision of the highest authorities to contribute to social peace and the establishment of impartial, fair and accessible justice for all, he said.
He said forgiveness guarantees the restoration of trust between the sons and daughters of Chad and of the social peace demanded.
Besides those convicted of rebellion, instructions have been given to the presidents of the courts of appeal to proceed with the release of detainees who remained for a long time without trial or without having appeared before a judge, according to the minister.
The release of political prisoners was a key demand by opposition groups invited to join a forum on Chad's future.
The release of detainees would facilitate their participation in an inclusive national dialogue announced for mid-February and which should facilitate preparation for the end of the transition.
Mahamat Idriss Deby assumed power after his father Idriss Deby Itno was killed on the frontlines.