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Arabic press review: Turkey attempting 'mediation' over Egypt executions

Former Turkish official says media and political figures have attempted to prevent execution of oppositon figures in Egypt
People shout slogans and hold Egyptian flags in front of Egyptian consulate in Istanbul on 2 March 2019 during a demonstration against death penalty in Egypt (AFP)

Turkey seeks to stop executions

A former Turkish official has said that Turkey has undertaken "mediation efforts" to stop the enforcement of death sentences recently handed down in Egypt against a number of Muslim Brotherhood activists and opposition figures, reported Arabi21.

Mehmet Gormez, the former chairman of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, said a number of political and media personalities were involved in "massive mediation efforts in order to stop the implementation of the recent death sentences issued in Egypt".

'[We] hope that Egyptian rationality will triumph and this painful nightmare will end for all of us so that precious Egypt would be able to start a new page'

- Mehmet Gormez, Directorate of Religious Affairs

"The campaigns are launched by individuals and scientific institutions alike from Turkey and the Islamic world as a whole, with the aim of reaching decision-makers in Egypt to stop these executions," Gormez confirmed in an exclusive interview with Arabi21.

"These efforts are progressing in full swing and the campaign is expanding its efforts day by day," he said, adding that he has "great hope that Egyptian rationality will triumph and this painful nightmare will end for all of us so that precious Egypt would be able to start a new page."

On Monday 14 June the Egyptian Court of Cassation upheld death sentences issued against 12 people, including prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, while reducing the sentences of 32 others from the death penalty to life imprisonment (25 years).

The court also ruled the expiration of the case against late Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, who died in custody in August 2020.

Algerian poet and journalist jailed

An Algerian court has sentenced a journalist to two years in prison in absentia and issued an arrest warrant against him for posting on Facebook, said the journalist himself in an article published on Sunday.

"I never imagined being part of this glory in the new Algeria," wrote the poet and journalist Adel Sayed, who works for local radio station Radio Tebessa.

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"What happy news on the eve of Eid al-Adha. Thank you, [President] Abdelmadjid Tebboune for this great achievement...I am honoured to be imprisoned."

According to Said Salihi, the vice-president of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), Sayed was convicted under Article 96 of the Penal Code, which states that “whoever distributes, puts for sale or displays to the attention of the public, or possesses, for the purpose of distribution, sale, or display for the purpose of publicity, publications, pamphlets, or papers that may harm the national interest shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of 20,000 to 100,000 Algerian dinars.”

Salihi added: "For us, the journalist has been condemned because of his writings and opinions. He is another journalist to be added to the long list of journalists who are being prosecuted, imprisoned or under judicial control in the midst of ongoing repression."

Jordan protests Israeli violations

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned ongoing Israeli violations at al-Aqsa Mosque, the latest of which was allowing far-right settlers to storm the compound in large numbers under the protection of the Israeli police on Sunday.

The ministry's spokesperson, Ambassador Daifallah al-Fayez, said in a statement that "the Israeli actions against the mosque are rejected and condemned, and they represent a violation of the historical and legal status quo, international law, and Israel's obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem."

"The ministry sent today an official protest note, calling on Israel to stop its violations and provocations, respect the historical and legal status quo, respect the sanctity of the mosque, the freedom of worshippers, the authority of the Administration of Jerusalem's Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs in Jordan."

Fayez stressed that al-Aqsa Mosque, with its entire area of 144 dunums, is a place of worship purely dedicated for Muslims, noting that the administration of Jerusalem's Awqaf and al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs in Jordan is the body that has the exclusive jurisdiction to manage all the affairs of the mosque and organise entry to it.

Saudi Arabia sterilises Hajj sites with robots

Saudi officials said they were intensifying the sterilisation of holy sites in the kingdom through the use of a “sterilisation robot” that also ensures that worshippers and pilgrims can perform the rituals without any obstructions, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The robot used by the Saudi authorities sterilises the inside of the chapels without hindering the movement of visitors and worshippers, and contributes to providing a healthy and safe environment inside the mosque and its facilities, according to the news agency.

The sterilisation robot works with an automatic control system and motion sensors, and also includes a warning feature with voice transmission and works 24 hours a day.

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