JEDDAH, 19 December 2005 — Saudi Arabia has released nearly 400 detainees, held for security reasons, after providing them with intense counseling and making sure they are free of deviant thoughts, the Saudi Press Agency reported yesterday quoting a security official.
Dr. Muhammad Al-Nujaimi, head of the department of civic studies at King Fahd Security Academy in Riyadh, said the 400 were set free during the past months.
In a previous statement, Interior Minister Prince Naif had spoken about plans to release some detainees after they repented and decided to return to the right path.
Prince Naif, however, emphasized that the government would not set free those militants arrested for planning terrorist attacks across the country. "They are still under investigation and will be transferred to court for trial," the SPA quoted him as saying.
Prince Naif said the ministry's counseling program, which started two years ago, was aimed at providing advice to those held in connection with security incidents that had taken place in the country in recent years. A number of prominent scholars, intellectuals, social scientists and psychiatrists are taking part in the program.