President Sheikh Mohamed releases 735 prisoners for Ramadan

UAE leader will also cover all fines and penalties incurred by the pardoned inmates

President Sheikh Mohamed has directed the release of hundreds of inmates ahead of Ramadan. Hamad Al Kaabi / Ministry of Presidential Affairs
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Hundreds of prisoners will be freed in the run-up to Ramadan this year after a directive from President Sheikh Mohamed ordered their release.

He instructed that 735 inmates from correctional and penal facilities be allowed to walk free ahead of the holy month.

The President will also cover all fines and penalties imposed on the prisoners who had been sentenced to jail for a range of offences, Wam reported.

An amnesty is typically offered to hundreds of prisoners each year in keeping with the generous spirit of the holy month.

Last year, the Sheikh Mohamed pardoned 1,025 prisoners ahead of Ramadan.

On Friday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, issued a directive to free 691 inmates from prisons in Dubai.

Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, followed suit with the release of 314 prisoners from punitive and correctional institutions.

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, also ordered the reduction of sentences of 484 inmates in Sharjah.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, cut short the sentences of 368 inmates in the emirate.

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, also ordered the release of 87 prisoners.

On Monday, Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, ordered the release of a number of prisoners.

Pardon lists

The humanitarian gesture to release prisoners for Ramadan, also made during other religious festivals and national events, aims to reward those who have sought rehabilitation and release a burden from the shoulders of their families.

Proposed pardon lists comprising names of prisoners whose crimes are less serious, often involving financial offences, are prepared by jails in each emirate and shared with prosecutors.

Based on orders from the Attorney General in each emirate, the lists are revised and compared with the case files of each inmate before being finalised.

After being approved by the Attorney General, the list is then forwarded to the respective ruler’s court, where a decision is issued on their release.

Who could be eligible?

Those eligible for pardon must have served a portion of their sentence – a specific period is not dictated – demonstrated good conduct, have not been covered by previous pardon decisions and have participated in rehabilitation and reform programmes carried out by the correctional institutions.

Prisoners whose debts are not settled as part of their release must first clear any financial obligations.

If they are incapable of paying the sum, their cases will be shared with approved charities to help pay off their debts and help them return to their families.

Inmates who were sentenced to deportation after completing their terms will be deported after a pardon.

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