Dubai to mark national holiday with release of 600 prisoners

The ruler of Dubai on Monday announced the pardon of more than 600 prisoners, part of a national holiday this weekend.

Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum on Monday announced the release of 606 prisoners this weekend as part of the celebration of the UAE's National Day. File photo by Mohammed Tawil/UPI | License Photo
Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum on Monday announced the release of 606 prisoners this weekend as part of the celebration of the UAE’s National Day. File photo by Mohammed Tawil/UPI | License Photo

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.

By Ed Adamczyk