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Coronavirus Pandemic

250 expat detainees released amid coronavirus outbreak

Filed on March 26, 2020
saudi arabia, coronavirus in gulf, covid19, residency offenders released, illegal residents in gulf

(Reuters file)

Three people have died from coronavirus in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has released 250 foreign detainees held on immigration and residency offences as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) said on Thursday.

"Releasing them for eventual repatriation will help decrease the threat for inmates of the detention centres without compromising public security in any way," HRC President Awwad Al Awwad said in a statement to Reuters.

He said more releases were expected in Saudi Arabia, where three people have died from coronavirus among more than 1,000 infections despite drastic measures that include halting all international flights, closing down most public places and suspending work.

Countries around the world have begun releasing inmates in order to avoid potentially disastrous spreading of the virus among crowded inmate populations.

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