The new Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has issued his first prisoner pardons as ruler of Qatar, approving the release of several inmates as a “supreme gesture,” QNA reports.
No details about the pardons, which are commonly issued by Qatar’s Emir during Ramadan and on National Day, were given.
But according to the Peninsula, several embassies with citizens in jail – including the Nepalese, Indian and Philippines – have sent the government lists of suggested prisoners to pardon. They are now waiting to see who will be released.
Typically, those who served as least a third of their sentence make the list, a Philippines embassy official told the newspaper.
The crimes the prisoners are convicted of vary from petty theft and traffic violations to murder and immoral activity, officials added.
Meanwhile, Al Raya reported yesterday that the government makes sure Qatar’s prisoners – including nursing mothers, babies and children – receive special attention in Ramadan.
Visitation rights increase so that inmates can spend time with their families, and the Ministry of Interior gifts phone vouchers for poorer prisoners to keep in touch with relatives abroad, the newspaper said.
Citing the MOI’s Director of Punitive and Reforms Institutions, Colonel Mohamed Saud al-Utaibi, Al Raya added that inmates have also been given candy and nuts to help lift their spirits, as well as nutritious meals.
Healthy food has been a focus especially for female prisoners, some of whom are nursing and raising children inside the prison.
Women are also being taught to do embroidery work, how to tailor clothes and taking computer classes.
Previously, al-Utaibi said that there are only 13 female prisoners in Qatar.
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala