The 33-year-old Filipina with her parents. She has recovered from drug addiction and embraced Islam. Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: A Filipina inmate in a Dubai jail received a pleasant surprise recently when she got to meet her parents — after 14 years.

The 33-year-old is an inmate of the Dubai Women Prison at the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions (PCI) as she was convicted in a drug-smuggling case.

But thanks to a programme called "Let’s Tolerate", launched by Dubai Police, her parents were invited to the prison.

The duo was first received and greeted by Brigadier Ali Mohammed Al Shamali, director-general of punitive and correctional institutions, in the presence of Brig Marwan Abdul Karim Julfar, deputy director of the DPCI and Col Jamila Khalifa Al Zaabi, director of Dubai Women’s Prison, before being presented to their daughter.

Humanitarian initiative

Brig Al Shamali said the gesture was in line with the directives of Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, to take humanitarian initiatives that reflect the values of tolerance and coexistence in the Year of Tolerance.

Col Al Zaabi said this is the second such family reunion at the correctional facility.

The first facilitated the coming together of a local inmate, sentenced to 10 years, with her mother. The two had not seen each other for more than three years.

“(PCI) will continue working to fulfil the dreams of inmates under the ‘Let’s Tolerate’ programme and target four inmates throughout the Year of Tolerance,” Col. Al Zaabi added.

Col. Al Zaabi said the Filipina inmate, with assistance from the prison’s psychological support team, had recovered from drug addiction.

She has also chosen to convert to Islam and become a skilled craftsman and financially independent.

The inmate expressed her sincere thanks to the Dubai Police for helping her become a better person and enabling her to learn some handicraft and language skills.

Among the languages she has learnt are Arabic, Russian, Indian and Nigerian.

The inmate’s parents also thanked the Dubai Police for allowing them to meet their daughter after 14 years.