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Gaza government frees 45 detainees

Dec. 28, 2010 6:21 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 29, 2010 1:58 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A day after Gaza residents marked the anniversary of the Israel's 2008-9 offensive on the coastal region, Gaza's interior ministry announced the release of 45 prisoners in honor of the day.

Gaza police spokesman Major Ra’ed Al-Batneejy said in a news conference that those released had served three and five year sentences, and would be returned to their families.

The official also took the opportunity to reiterate to journalists that the government would not hesitate to carry out justice in the Strip, including the death penalty. The prisoners released on Tuesday had paid their dues to society and were ready for release, he said.

None of the prisoners in Gaza jails were detained for political reasons, he continued, "and there will be no political detentions."

Joining Al-Batneejy, general director of the ministry of justice Usama Sa’d reiterated his message about the willingness of Gaza officials to apply the full measure of law to criminals, saying the system was "determined to eliminate the security chaos."

Our prison aims at rehabilitating detainees, not punishing them, he said.

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