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Arabic press review: Algerian activist convicted over 'regime change' post

Meanwhile, a cancer-stricken Egyptian prisoner launches a hunger strike and a Kuwaiti court rejects a suit to ban Netflix
Algerian anti-government protesters take the streets of Algiers on 26 March 2021 (AFP)

Algerian court sentences activist over Facebook post

An Algerian court has sentenced a journalist and political activist to one year in prison over an anti-government Facebook post, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily reported on Wednesday. 

Abdelkrim Zeghileche will be able to appeal against the decision issued against him by a court in the eastern city of Constantine.

Zeghileche, who is a member of the opposition Union for Change and Progress (UPC) party, said his conviction was in relation to a post that read: "This regime must fall, not only because we disagree with it or dislike it, but because it has proven for 60 years that it is incompetent in running the country."

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The vocal government critic, who also runs an online radio station, said that "this is my opinion and this is how I think.

"I explained to the judge how to overthrow the regime within the framework of the law and the constitution."

Speaking to Radio M, Zeghileche added that since the beginning of the Hirak, a popular anti-government protest movement, in Algeria in 2019, he has been detained five times, noting that he now "feels more comfortable behind bars because he no longer has to live worried about being pursued".

Cancer-stricken Egyptian prisoner starts hunger strike

A cancer-stricken Egyptian political prisoner began a hunger strike last week demanding that authorities provide him with medical treatment, his family and rights groups said according to The New Arab.

Waheed Hassan, 31, started the hunger strike on 3 June after prison authorities refused to transfer him to hospital following the spread of the cancerous tumours in his body, the London-based news website said.

The Egyptian Network For Human Rights (ENHR) issued an appeal on behalf of Hassan's family, calling for his transfer from a prison facility in Sharqia Governorate to the National Cancer Institute of Egypt, which they say is the only specialist hospital in the country capable of treating such a serious case.

Despite the public prosecution ordering Hassan's release on 30 May 2022 after his pre-trial detention period ended, he is still behind bars. 

Hassan was arrested in December 2016 and shortly afterward discovered that he was suffering from a rare bone tumour. Following medical examinations, doctors recommended that he must be treated immediately. However, the security authorities refused to treat him and sent him back to prison.

Kuwaiti court rejects suit to ban Netflix

A Kuwaiti lower court has rejected a lawsuit demanding a ban on Netflix in the country, the Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper reported on Wednesday. 

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Abdulaziz Al-Subaie, a Kuwaiti attorney, filed the lawsuit on the grounds that the American streaming service violates social customs and traditions through its movies and shows. 

Al-Subaie argued that Netflix should be blocked in Kuwait for "broadcasting content that may affect and corrupt our Kuwaiti society, its customs, and traditions".

The lawsuit came after the streaming giant released its first Arabic feature, Perfect Strangers, in January, causing controversy across the Middle East and in Kuwait for its portrayal of homosexuality and extramarital relations. 
 
According to Al-Qabas, it is expected that Al-Subaie will appeal against the judgement.

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye