UAE leaders pardon prisoners ahead of Union Day

President Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, free thousands of inmates

President Sheikh Mohamed has pardoned 1,018 prisoners in a humanitarian gesture ahead of Union Day. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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UAE leaders have ordered the release of thousands of prison inmates before the 52nd Union Day.

President Sheikh Mohamed ordered the freeing of 1,018 prisoners held in the UAE on Wednesday.

The humanitarian gesture is intended to give those prisoners an opportunity to start a new life and reintegrate into their families and communities, state news agency Wam reported.

UAE leaders free thousands of prisoners every year in a show of compassion to mark public holidays and events such as Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the release of 1,249 prisoners of different nationalities, the emirate's media office announced.

“Sheikh Mohammed’s order to pardon the prisoners reflects his keenness to bring happiness to their families and give them an opportunity to start a new life and reintegrate themselves into society,” said Dubai's attorney general, Essam Issa Al Humaidan.

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered the release of 475 inmates of various nationalities.

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, pardoned 113 prisoners.

Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, has ordered the release of 143 prisoners, or various nationalities, to allow them to start a new life.

The inmates released in Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman were selected based on good conduct and behaviour, Wam reported.

The UAE's Union Day, also known as National Day, is celebrated on December 2 every year to commemorate the formation of the country in 1971.

The holiday marks the day that six emirates bound together to form the UAE, with Ras Al Khaimah joining as the seventh emirate the following year.

It is preceded by Commemoration Day, on November 30, which is dedicated to those who lost their lives serving the country.

Authorities have said December 2, 3 and 4 this year will be a paid holiday for public and private sector employees.

Updated: November 29, 2023, 4:47 PM