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Arabic press review: The old Aden bait-and-switch - and the Kuwaiti millionaires

Visitors to an Aden prison perplexed when prisoners chant to security chief, 'We need you'. Turns out, they weren't prisoners after all
The 'prisoners' in Aden's central prison who spoke with visiting delegation (YouTube)

A switcheroo at Aden central prison

Earlier this year, ahead of a visit of a human rights delegation to Aden’s central prison, the city’s head of security switched 300 prisoners with soldiers who later told the observers that their living conditions were excellent, according to al-Quds al-Arabi

A source told the London-based newspaper that Shalal Ali Shaya, the security head who is loyal to the United Arab Emirates, hid the prisoners in a camp in a secure area within the city. 

When the delegation, accompanied by Shaya, entered the prison, the detainees reportedly cheered, “In the spirit of blood, we need you", athough the cheering does not appear in a video released of the visit.

Visitors in the delegation – including the Yemeni attorney general, the chairman of the national committee monitoring human rights, security leaders and journalists - found the cheering puzzling given the some of the prisoners had been forcibly disappeared for more than two years.

After the delegation left the prison, the detainees were returned.

IS leaders breakaway in Sinai

Two prominent Islamic State (IS) group leaders in Sinai have split from the organisation and joined the al-Qaeda branch west of the Rafah border crossing, according to Al-Mesryoon newspaper.

The two leaders are breaking away from IS after a conflict broke out earlier this year between the group and members of Jund al-Islam - which is affiliated with al-Qaeda in Sinai - in the wake of a fighter jet raid on IS’s leadership near the town of Sheikh Zuwaid where the group had gathered. 

After the leaders were killed in the raid, 12 al-Qaeda fighters were either wounded or killed, according to Al-Mesryoon.

Algeria refuses to condemn Iran

Algeria refused to vote on a resolution condemning Iran’s human rights violations during a committee meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, according to the Algerian newspaper Al-Shorouk El-Yawmi.

Eighty three countries – including Bahrain, Yemen, the UAE and Saudi Arabia - voted for the resolution and 30 others including Syria and Iraq voted against.

Sixty eight countries in addition to Algeria – including Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania and Sudan – abstained from voting.

Algeria’s position, the newspaper reported, was not a surprise, given the “peace and conventional relations” that the two have forged through the visits of Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sallal and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other officials in recent years.

Earlier this month, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Algiers was “the same distance from all countries. Our relationship with Iran is the same with Saudi Arabia. We do not interfere in the affairs of others and no one interferes in our affairs”.

Looking for millionaires? Kuwait is a good spot to hunt

Kuwait has 29,000 millionaires, the third highest number among Gulf countries behind Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to a Credit Suisse report covered in Kuwaiti newspaper Al- Anba.

According to the report, an average household in Kuwait earns $119,000 annually. In 2017, the country’s wealth grew by around $11bn, a 3.9 percent increase over the past year.

Credit Suisse also found that there are five billionaires in the country and 76 women who hold between $100m and $500m.

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

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