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Wed 9 Jul 2014 02:03 PM

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Saudi prisoners convert, memorise Koran for release

More than 1000 prisoners in Saudi jails have been released so far this Ramadan, including 30 foreigners who converted to Islam

Saudi prisoners convert, memorise Koran for release
Photo for illustrative purpose only (Getty Images)

More than 1000 prisoners including Asian and African expats have been released from Saudi jails so far this Ramadan, while authorities continue to assess cases for eligibility, local media have reported.

The released include 30 foreigners who have converted to Islam, director of prisons in Jeddah Brigadier Ahmed Abdullah Al Shahrani reportedly said.

Others had memorised the Koran or displayed good moral behaviour.

Only prisoners detained for public rights related offenses are eligible for the amnesty, which occurs during each Ramadan.

They are being released in groups on a daily basis and presented with gifts on their way out.

Meanwhile, Makkah Governor Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah has ordered debts be paid for prisoners who are in jail because they owe money.

Ambassadors from countries with citizens in Saudi jails also have made representations seeking to have their people released.

Most recently, Pakistani Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan met with Crown Prince Salman to ask for Pakistanis in jail for petty crimes to be pardoned during Ramadan.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online