12 September 2013
Saudi Kingdom negotiated with a total of 1239 inmates, offering them a full pardon and a monthly salary for their families, who were to remain in the Kingdom, in exchange for their training in order to send them to fight in Syria.
A top secret memo has revealed that the Saudi Kingdom sent death-row inmates, sentenced to execution by decapitation, to Syria to fight against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences.
According to the memo, written by the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia dated on April 17, 2012, the Saudi Kingdom negotiated with a total of 1239 inmates, offering them a full pardon and a monthly salary for their families in exchange for their training in order to send them to fight in Syria.
The memo was signed by Abdullah bin Ali al-Rmezan, the "Director of follow up in Ministry of Interior", the Assyrian International News Agency reported.
According to the memo, there have been the nationals of Yemenis, Palestinians, Saudis, Sudanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Somalis, Afghanis, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and Kuwaitis among the inmates.
There have been 23 Iraqi prisoners.
A former member of the Iraqi parliament, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the authenticity of the document and said most of the Iraqi prisoners in Saudi Arabia sent to Syria returned to Iraq and admitted that they had agreed to the deal offered by the Saudi Kingdom, and requested the Iraqi government to petition the Saudi government to release their families, who were being held hostage in Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni nationals who were sent to Syria also returned to Yemen and asked their government to secure the release of their families, according to the former Iraqi MP, who said there are many more documents in this regard.
Initially Saudi Arabia denied the existence of the program. But the testimony of the released prisoners forced the Saudi government to admit, in private circles, its existence.