Morocco’s King Mohammed has pardoned more than 7,000 prisoners to mark the circumcision of his 23-month-old son, state media said on Friday.

They include 534 seriously-ill inmates, 19 pregnant women, 20 elderly, 629 youths who have developed professional skills during their detention and 5,888 other prisoners who have nearly finished their sentences, state radio reported.

Those pardoned also included 26 foreign inmates, but the state media did not give their nationalities. The majority of foreigners in Moroccan prisons are from Europe.

It was the king’s second biggest amnesty since 2002 when he pardoned more than 8,000 inmates to mark his wedding to computer engineer Princess Lalla Salma. Royal pardons are customary in Morocco to mark historical events and celebrations.

Morocco’s 53 prisons are notoriously overcrowded and house around 58,000 inmates, a number that has trebled in less than 30 years.

The monarch launched on Wednesday three days of lavish celebrations in the ancient city of Fes to mark the circumcision of Crown Prince Hassan. An estimated 30,000 Moroccan children in different parts of the Muslim country were also circumcised on the occasion.

Imagine the King had a twin sons and both must be circumcised, count how many lives that will saves?

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