Manama: A man who was sent to prison in Saudi Arabia for failing to pay his debts has rejected a judge’s decision allowing him to spend Ramadan and Eid with his family.

The prisoner, in his 70s, said his incarceration had led to a marked improvement in his health, having suffered in the past from pyschological and heart problems.

The man argued that he received good medical care and companionship in prison, which helped him recover, the Saudi daily Okaz reported. He also said that he enjoyed the recreational activities offered at Buraidah prison in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

A prison adviser failed to convince the elderly man to accept the judge’s offer, but at the end the man was forced to leave.

Saudis have expressed sympathy with the prisoner on social media saying he should be able to receive better care at home. They called for a fundraiser to help him pay off his debts.