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Arabic press review: Four Yemeni influencers at risk of execution

Meanwhile, Tunisia has arrested a female 'terrorist cell' while Jordanian activists have called for the release of imprisoned campaigners
A still from a video by influence Ahmed Hajar (YouTube)

Four Yemeni influencers at risk of execution

Fears have spread in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, that judicial authorities may issue a death sentence against four Yemeni social media "influencers" after they were arrested from their homes and put on trial over their activities online, including criticism of the Houthi group that rules the capital, according to the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The four individuals were prosecuted before a court that specialises in terrorism cases, which could potentially see them face the death penalty.

The arrests provoked an outcry across Yemen, with Moammer al-Eryani, the information minister in the internationally-recognised government, describing the move as "a simulation of the repressive regime in Iran against its opponents".

Official sources said the specialised criminal court held its first session on Tuesday to try the four social media personalities - Ahmed Hajar, Mustafa Al-Momari, Hammoud Al-Mesbahi, and Ahmed Allaw - where they were informed about the indictment decision and the evidence submitted by the Public Prosecution.

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Yemeni lawyer Abdul Majeed Sabra said that the four detainees "denied the charges attributed to them, which are spreading false and malicious news and provocative propaganda with the intent of disturbing public security and harming the public interest".

According to Sabra, the four individuals "created channels that bear their names on YouTube and managed them from the capital, then broadcast false, malicious and provocative rumours, news and data on these channels".

Tunisian judiciary issues prison sentences against female 'terrorist cell'

The Tunisian judiciary has issued prison sentences against a group accused of plotting to assassinate a former interior minister, according to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.

On Thursday, a Tunisian court specialised in terrorism cases issued prison sentences against 10 defendants - one man and nine women - who established a "terrorist cell" and allegedly planned to assassinate former Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub.

The rulings include a 25-year prison sentence against the alleged founder of the cell, after she was charged with "preparing and drawing up the plan for the assassination [to be committed] when the minister visits his parents' house".

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The court also sentenced a woman to 14 years on charges of creating the Internet page of the cell, and another woman, who lived next to Majdoub's parents' home, to eight years imprisonment.

The court alleged that her mission was to photograph the house and specify the number of guards and the times of the minister's visit to his parents' house.

Other sentences included imprisonment for a period between three to six years for five other defendants.

The dismantling of this cell dates back to 2016, as security officials say it was active between the capital's outskirts and a coastal city.

Activists in Jordan demand release of prisoners of conscience

Jordanian activists on social media have called on the government to release political detainees and prisoners of conscience, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper said in a report.

According to the Committee for the Follow-up of Prisoners of Conscience and the Oppressed, an independent group that monitors political arrests in Jordan, 68 political campaigners are currently being held in administrative detention.

On Thursday, security forces arrested lawyer and activist Jamal Jeet over two Facebook posts, one of which talks about the Wadi Araba Treaty with Israel.

The same day, the Public Prosecutor of the State Security Court, a military court, arrested activist Sabri Al-Mashaleh, and is detaining him for 15 days.

The Committee for the Follow-up of Prisoners of Conscience and the Oppressed quoted lawyer Hamad al-Harout as saying that the court charged Mashaleh with "undermining the regime, illegal gathering, rioting and carrying out actions that could endanger Jordan's security".

The Public Prosecutor of the State Security Court also detained the former mayor of Ma'an, Majed Al-Sharari, for 15 days on charges of opposing the system of government, illegal gathering, endangering community security and harming the national economy.

Sharari is one of the activists who participated in the recent strikes and protests against the increase in fuel prices in the southern Ma'an Governorate.

Many political groups, along with trade unions and popular committees, have issued statements calling on the government to immediately release all political detainees.

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

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