Nov. 28 (UPI) — The ruler of Dubai on Monday announced the pardon of more than 600 prisoners, part of a national holiday this weekend.
UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashad ordered the release of 606 prisoners to coincide with National Day on Saturday.
Dec. 2 honors the 1971 union of six Gulf emirates — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Quwain, which were later joined by a seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, as the United Arab Emirates.
A statement Monday from Dubai Attorney General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan said the order reflects the sheikh’s eagerness “to offer the pardoned inmates a chance to reintegrate into society,” the Dubai Press Office said Monday.
Al Humaidan said Dubai’s Public Prosecution Office has begun coordinating with police to implement the order.
Such a mass release of prisoners is regarded as a humanitarian gesture, and is often associated in the Muslim world with the religious observance of Ramadan.