Iraq has become the first country int he Middle East to give periodical holidays for ordinary prisoners.
GV Prison gates opened and prisoners through
SV Prisoners past camera
SV Prison watch tower TILT DOWN TO prisoners through grounds
GV Main gates opened and prisoners out
SV Prisoners board bus and bus away
Initials OS/1239 OS/1247
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iraq has become the first country int he Middle East to give periodical holidays for ordinary prisoners.
The Director-General of Prison Establishments in Iraq, Sd. Zaki Hussein Hillmi, says the idea is to give the prisoner opportunity to adjust psychologically to freedom - before he's discharged.
Under the scheme, each prisoner is allowed out every six months to spend three days living normally in his own home, with his family.
The scheme allows only prisoners with good records of behaviour to take advantage of the holidays.
The first batch of prisoners to benefit from the scheme were freed on the 1st of March. There were fifteen of them - each serving a sentence ranging from one to twenty years. Some of those given leave still had six years of their sentences to serve.
Iraq claim that it is only the second country in the world (after Sweden) to introduce the scheme.
SYNOPSIS: A bold prison experiment in Iraq. It's the first country in the Middle East to allow prisoners periods at home with their families from time to time. The first prisoners to benefit from the scheme were escorted to the prison gates and given their freedom for seventy-two hours earlier this month.
Prison authorities are confident the scheme will benefit Iraqi society. They say the idea is to give the prisoner opportunity to adjust psychologically to freedom - before he's discharged. The three-day leave is being granted only to prisoners with good prison records - and then only for one three-day period every six months.
Fifteen prisoners were freed in this first experiment. Their sentences ranged from or to twenty years - and some still had as many as six years left to serve.
As well as being the first country in the Middle East to adopt this scheme, Iraq claims it's only the second country in the world to offer leave periods for prisoners. The other, it says, is Sweden,