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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

Arabic press review: Saudi court sentences more Jordanians and Palestinians

Arabic press review: Saudi court sentences more Jordanians and Palestinians

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions warn of escalating violence over Gaza siege, and Algeria sentences journalist for reporting Tuareg protests against the government

Judicial authorities in Saudi Arabia have issued futher prison terms for Palestinians and Jordanians detained in the kingdom, according to the Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account known for following news of arrests in the kingdom.

Dozens of Palestinians and Jordanians, including the former Hamas representative in Saudi Arabia and his son, were sentenced on Sunday after a mass trial.

Among those newly sentenced, according to the group, were Hussein Yaish (16 years in prison), Hamza Dweik and Mahmoud Ghazal (12 years each), and Bilal al-Akkad (four years).

Prisoners of Conscience said it had also received reports that several Jordanian and Palestinian detainees were tortured, "to force them to give up classified data about the resistance in Palestine".

"They were beaten on sensitive parts of their bodies, and some of them lost so much weight," the group said.

In exchange for providing information, Saudi intelligence officers offered reduced sentences, the group added.

Several of the Palestinian and Jordanian detainees who have been granted release by the court remain in detention, according to the account.

Palestinian resistance ready to escalate over Gaza blockade


Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip have told Arabi21 that Israel's continued refusal to end the siege in Gaza could lead to an escalation, the news site reported on Thursday.

In an exclusive statement to Arabi21, faction representatives said they are "conducting an assessment of the current situation in light of the occupation's procrastination and disavowal of fulfilling its obligations in relation to ending the siege".

The groups said they are studying "the gradual return to means of popular escalation and its coarse tools".

They added that they feel resentful over the way Israel has handled their demands and circumvented the results of the fighting in May, in particular delaying reconstruction and closing crossings.

"The resistance is holding discussions about mechanisms of pressure against the Israeli occupation, including gradual escalation, even if this leads to exacerbating tension majorly," the statement said.

They also said that they remain in contact with mediators, particularly the Egyptians and Qataris.

Algerian journalist jailed over Tuareg protest


An Algerian court sentenced a journalist to one year in prison after he reported on protesting Tuareg tribes who accuse the government of seizing their land, The New Arab reports.

Rabah Karach was arrested on 19 April after his report was published and has remained imprisoned ever since.

A court in southern Algeria convicted Karach of running an electronic account spreading news that “would incite discrimination and hatred in society", deliberately promoting false news, and “acting by any means to undermine the integrity of the homeland", according to the newspaper.

He will serve eight more months to complete the one-year sentence, the court ruled.

Karach's arrest sparked a wave of protests by his colleagues, especially after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune described him ahead of his sentencing as "an arsonist".

Reporters Without Borders has previously demanded Karach's release and that all charges against him are dropped.

One divorce every two minutes in Egypt


A divorce occurs every two minutes in Egypt, while two marriages happen every minute, Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics announced this week.

In reaction to the news, MP Martha Mahrous proposed that the government form a family guidance committee to organise courses for couples preparing to marry, the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi reported.

The committee would be comprised of members of the Ministry of Social Solidarity, religious leaders, and health and mental health institutions, Mahrous said.

The courses would aim to raise awareness about the rights and duties of married couples while providing cultural, health and sexual advice. Completing a course should be mandatory for marriage, she said.

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