In Jordan, King Abdullah II on Saturday ordered the release of 245 common law criminals on the occasion of the religious feast, said the government spokesperson.

According to Asma Khadir, the government took the necessary measures to ensure that the former detainees "return home and resume a normal life".

The royal decree covers political activists held without trial, but excludes 100 prisoners with criminal records or those linked to serious crimes such as premeditated murder, rape and drug trafficking.  

Releasing prisoners who are not considered a threat to national security is a tradition among Muslim countries to mark the feast which is due to start in a couple of days.

Algerian pardon

In Algeria, President Abd al-aziz Bouteflika has pardoned 3080 petty criminals ahead of the Eid al-Fitr, the president's office said on Saturday.

The amnesty did not extend to prisoners serving sentences
for "terrorism and subversion", corruption, drug trafficking, or
rape, the official APS news agency quoted a statement from the president's office as saying. 

Last year, Bouteflika pardoned 5000 prisoners ahead of the
religious feast, which is due to start in Algeria on Tuesday or
Wednesday, depending on when the moon is sighted.