King Fahd Pardons Saudi Prisoners
King Fahd has pardoned 13,768 Saudis and expatriates jailed for minor offences, which make up roughly half the prison population, according to AFP. This was done on the occasion of the King’s 20th anniversary in power, the Interior Minister said. “Instructions have been issued by King Fahd to free prisoners” with light offences, said Prince Nayef, quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.
With 30,000 inmates, Saudi prisons are immensely overcrowded, according to prison officials. Prince Nayef requested those who have benefited from the pardons which began last November to “merge well into society and return to normal life”.
Major-General Ali al-Harethi, Director of Saudi Jails stated in December that Saudi Arabia, which applies Islamic law, was planning to cancel jail terms for a number of offences, in the framework of a reorganization of the kingdom's prison service. He added that prison reforms would also include permitting prisoners to continue working and their salaries to be paid to their families.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has also agreed to permit Amnesty International to send a delegation to inspect prisons. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)