HAVANA, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- In response to a request by Pope Francis, Cuba said it would pardon 787 prisoners who have not committed "extreme" crimes before the end of the Catholic Church's Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy.
The Cuban government made the announcement on Monday through a statement in the state-run Granma newspaper, in which it said women, young people and sick people were released for "humanitarian reasons."
Those excluded from the pardon are people "punished for crimes of murder, homicide, corruption of minors, rape, drug trafficking and others of extreme danger."
Cuba's Council of the State took into account the crimes committed by the inmates, their conduct while imprisoned and the years they served when deciding who should be released.
Cuba has been accused by human rights organizations of imprisoning politicians who oppose President Raúl Castro's regime, which has repeatedly rejected the allegations.