UAE leaders pardon more than 2,600 prisoners for Eid Al Adha

President Sheikh Mohamed and rulers of individual emirates order release of inmates in humanitarian gesture

President Sheikh Mohamed's gesture highlights the generous spirit of Eid Al Adha, said officials. Photo: UAE Presidential Court
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UAE leaders have pardoned more than 2,600 prisoners ahead of Eid Al Adha.

On Wednesday, President Sheikh Mohamed ordered the release of 988 inmates.

This decision was made in an effort to give those serving sentences an opportunity to rebuild their lives, state news agency Wam reported.

The UAE leader grants such pardons each year to boost family ties and to highlight the generous spirit of the religious festival, Wam said.

Rulers of the emirates typically free prisoners to mark religious occasions, of which Eid Al Adha is one of the most significant.

On Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the release of 650 inmates of various nationalities.

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, directed that 390 inmates be released from prisons in the emirate.

In Ras Al Khaimah, 356 inmates will be released ahead of Eid, by order of the emirate's ruler Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, agreed to free 166 prisoners who have "demonstrated good conduct", Wam said.

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, ordered the release of 108 prisoners.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, also pardoned prisoners ahead of the religious festival and expressed his wish for them to "integrate positively back into society".

It was not announced how many inmates would be released.

Freed prisoners typically include many who have committed minor offences and financial crimes, or who have shown good behaviour throughout their sentences.

Eid Al Adha – which means “festival of the sacrifice” – will begin on June 28.

It is observed during Dhu Al Hijja, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar, which began on Monday.

Dhu Al Hijja is considered one of the four sacred months for Muslims, called Al Ash-hur Al Hurom.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage also takes place during the month, beginning on June 26.

As with other religious holidays in the Emirates, Eid Al Adha is a time for friends and family to gather, often over meals, and reflect on their lives and faith.

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Updated: June 23, 2023, 11:32 AM