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Arabic press review: Lebanese 'yellow jackets' call for new political class

Prominent Saudi lawyer released after seven months in detention; Jordan considers hitting back at Syrian trade restrictions
Lebanese protesters called for reforms in France-inspired protest (AFP)

After seven months, Saudi lawyer released in weak health

After months in detention accused of being an “agent” for foreign powers, prominent Saudi lawyer and activist Ibrahim al-Mudaymig has been released.

His health has deteriorated while in jail concerning his family and friends, according to Prisoners of Conscience, a group campaigning against the arrests of Saudi activists and public figures.

Saudi government newspapers accused Mudaymig of being part of a group of foreign agents after he was caught-up in a wave of arrests last May alongside leading women’s rights activists who had successfully fought for the right for women to drive.

Human Rights Watch in November said at least three of those women had been tortured.

Mudaymig is a legal adviser who has worked in the Saudi cabinet but became well-known for defending Saudi political prisoners.

In yellow jackets, young Lebanese want to topple political class

Drawn-out political crises and a deteriorating standard of living prompted Lebanese citizens to hit the streets of Beirut calling for radical reform on Sunday, reported Arabi21.

Wearing yellow jackets to emulate protests that have swept France in recent weeks, young Lebanese responded to calls made on social media to gather in the capital, where they described the demonstration as a revolt against the current political system.

Starting with two main rallies, the protesters then took over the city’s main streets until late Sunday night and according to activists quoted by the newspaper, insisted they would continue until their demands are met for a change in the country’s political class.

A trade war brews on Syria and Jordan's reopened border

The Nasib border between Jordan and Syria reopened in October after a three-year closure caused by the Syrian civil war but the flow of trade through the crossing is still limited.

Jordan is now considering hitting back at Syrian trade restrictions, an official source told al-Ghad newspaper, by imposing its own limits on what can be imported from Syria.

The anonymous source said the decision was prompted by the concerns of Jordanian businessmen that Syria was hindering the introduction of their goods into the Syrian market with restrictive licensing and a long list of goods that cannot be imported to protect Syria’s own industries.