Kingdom releases 15 ex-militants
By ARAB NEWS -
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it was releasing 15 militants after they successfully completed a yearlong counseling program organized by the Prince Muhammad bin Naif Center.
According to the center, the militants had enjoyed three vacations ranging between 10 to 25 days during their detention period in order to spend Eid and other happy occasions with their families.
“We also helped them to perform Umrah with their relatives during Ramadan and visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. They also got an opportunity to perform Haj last year,” a spokesman for the center said.
Arrangements were also made to help the militants visit Dariya during the National Day and the Riyadh International Book Fair. “We also helped them to attend special courses to join the job market,” he added.
This is the 19th group of militants released by the Interior Ministry after counseling.
Saudi Arabia’s counseling program for Al-Qaeda militants has been widely praised due to its positive results. More than 3,000 youths have changed their ways after attending the program.
Bandar Al-Iban, president of the Human Rights Commission, visited the center in July 2010 and commended its role in convincing militants to abandon their ideology. Al-Iban visited the center’s educational, cultural, sports and recreational facilities.
“The center has achieved international recognition and many foreign officials have visited it to benefit from its programs,” the HRC chief said after visiting the center. Started in 2004, the center is manned by Islamic scholars, psychiatrists, sociologists and psychologists.