1,032 prisoners freed in Emirates

To mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the president of the United Arab Emirates has ordered the release of 1,302 prisoners.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan also announced that fines owed by the prisoners, which amount to around 1.67 million US dollars, will be settled.

In a statement, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs said the amnesty will give the prisoners the chance to return to a normal life.

As well as fasting from dawn to dusk, Muslims are expected to use Ramadan to reflect and celebrate and they are encouraged to give presents, money or food to the poor.

In October last year Saudi Arabia marked the start of Ramadan by announcing the release of 5,500 prisoners, most of whom were Asians or Africans. However, those convicted of grave crimes "such as terrorism and drug trafficking" were not included in King Fahd's pardon, AKI reports.

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