King’s Ramadan gift: 1,017 prisoners freed

Updated 15 July 2014
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King’s Ramadan gift: 1,017 prisoners freed

Authorities are working around-the-clock to examine the cases of eligible prisoners including expatriates to be released from the Kingdom’s jails in Ramadan, Brig. Ahmed Abdullah Al-Shahrani, director of prisons in Jeddah, said on Tuesday.
In an interview with Arab News, he said that prisoners with minor crimes and those who had met the conditions for royal pardon are being released from prison as a gesture of mercy and kindness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah during the month of Ramadan.
A special committee supervised by Jeddah Gov. Mishaal bin Majed is studying the cases of inmates who can avail of the royal pardon in Ramadan. The committee will determine the eligibility of the release, he added.
Brig. Shahrani said that up until last week, 1,017 inmates had walked free and the number was due to increase in the next few days.
He said that the released prisoners included Asian and African expatriates. However, he clarified that only prisoners detained for public rights related offenses were eligible for the amnesty.
The official further said that the punitive and correctional committee is closely examining the moral behavior of the inmates in addition to the nature of the crime. He said that memorization of the Holy Qur’an was also being taken into consideration for the amnesty.
Brig. Shahrani said that this year, 30 foreign non-Muslim inmates had converted to Islam having been impressed by Islamic teachings and values.
He said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s clemency reflects his interest to enable the released inmates to reunite with their families and relatives. He hoped that the released prisoners would turn over a new page and begin life again free from crime.
The Central Prison in Briman in Jeddah is currently being frequented by visitors of inmates to inquire if they have been pardoned or if their next of kin and friends have been released.
The inmates are being released in batches on a daily basis. Prison authorities are presenting them with gifts prior to their release. Many of the expatriate inmates shed tears of joy as they walked out of the prison.


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 18 July 2018
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.