UAE pardons more than 1,000 prisoners ahead of Ramadan

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pardoned more than 1,000 prisoners ahead of Ramadan, official news agency WAM reported on Tuesday evening.

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Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the release of the prisoners ahead of the Holy Month which is set to begin on Thursday in the UAE.

“The move comes as part of President Mohamed's humanitarian initiatives and is reflective of the values of forgiveness and tolerance to give pardoned inmates an opportunity to start a new life and ease the suffering of their families,” WAM said in a statement.

The UAE pardons prisoners every year for Ramadan, as well as ahead of other holy festivals.

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on July 6 last year ordered the release of 505 prisoners from correctional and punitive establishments in the emirate ahead of Eid al-Adha in 2022.

The Ramadan crescent moon was not sighted in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening, meaning the holy month will officially begin on Thursday.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Sighting a crescent moon heralds the start of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

Ramadan is observed by more than 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide and is considered a month of fasting and spirituality. It is believed to be the month when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

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