Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai has pardoned 200 nationals and 300 foreigners, all convicted of drug abuse, the official United Arab Emirates news agency said on Sunday, quoted by Reuters.
AFP cited press reports describing the move as in a change of narcotics policy.
Attorney General Ibrahim Bu Melha, quoted in Gulf News, said Emiratis caught taking drugs would in future be treated in rehabilitation centers rather than spend time in prison.
"Drug addicts should not be treated as criminals, but they should be treated for their addiction," the official said, adding that the situation was still "controllable" in Dubai.
Bu Melha said Dubai's rehabilitation centers were for locals only. "The public prosecution department will have to decide what will happen to expatriates who are arrested for drug taking in the future," he said – (Several Sources).
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