A presidential pardon has been granted by Comoros President, Azali Assoumani, to four opposition figures jailed for life, for an attempted coup in the Indian Ocean island country, AFP reported on Sunday August 11th.
The four, who were earlier convicted and received a life sentence, have been granted the pardon, following an attempted coup that had allegedly threatened the state security, the sentences were later reduced to 20 years in May, and 17 other jailed opponents were also pardoned.
The presidential decree has carried a pardon for writer Said Ahmed Said Tourqui, lawyer Bahassane Ahmed Said, Mohamed Ali Abdallah and El-Had Ibrahim Halifa, as they were relieved from their remaining sentences.
Bahassane is the younger brother of Jaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, a former vice-president to Azali, now living in exile in Tanzania, after denouncing the president's authoritarian stance. However, the charges are believed to have been linked to the unrest that followed a controversial constitutional referendum to extend the president's term last year.
Azali initially came to power in a coup, then ruled between 1999 and 2006. He was re-elected in 2016 in a vote marred by violence and allegations of irregularities, the country itself has endured more than 20 attempted coups, four of which were successful, according to AFP.