SAMSUN, Turkey 

Turkey released the first batch of prisoners on Wednesday after the parliament ratified a penal reform law to stem the spread of coronavirus in jails.

The law was passed Tuesday by a 270-51 vote.

Some 650 prisoners were released after necessary procedures by gendarmerie forces.

The law excludes prisoners convicted for sex and drug crimes, first degree murder, violence against women and terror acts.

It enables house arrest for some inmates over 65, women who have children aged six and under, and sick prisoners who cannot take care of themselves.

The measures will roughly double the number of

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