Harry and Meghan visit South Africa’s oldest mosque on tour

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, visit Auwal Mosque, the first and oldest mosque in South Africa, in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town, South Africa, September 24, 2019. (Reuters)
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Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, visits Auwal Mosque, the first and oldest mosque in South Africa, in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town, South Africa, September 24, 2019. (Reuters)
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Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, visits Auwal Mosque, the first and oldest mosque in South Africa, in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town, South Africa, September 24, 2019. (Reuters)
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Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, visits Auwal Mosque, the first and oldest mosque in South Africa, in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town, South Africa, September 24, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, enter a home for tea during a walkabout in Bo-Kaap, a heritage site, in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Sept, 24, 2019. (AP)
Updated 24 September 2019

Harry and Meghan visit South Africa’s oldest mosque on tour

  • The royals stopped at the 225-year-old Auwal Mosque in Cape Town
  • It included the viewing of the first known manuscript of the Qur’an in South Africa

CAPE TOWN: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, have visited South Africa’s oldest mosque as their first official tour as a family continues for a second day.
Their stop at the 225-year-old Auwal Mosque in Cape Town on Tuesday includes a viewing of the first known manuscript of the Qur’an in South Africa. Authorities say it was written down from memory by an imam while he was imprisoned on nearby Robben Island during a period when slaves were not allowed to worship Islam.
Events include meetings with several religious leaders, as the mosque hosts interfaith dialogues in the famously diverse city.
The royal couple’s 10-day, multi-country tour also includes stops for Harry in Botswana, Angola and Malawi with a focus on wildlife protection, mental health and mine clearance.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

More images from Heritage Day in Bo Kaap. As part of their visit, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Auwal Mosque – the first and oldest Mosque in South Africa. Standing as a symbol of the freedom of former slaves to worship, the Mosque hosts events with Muslim, Christian and Jewish young leaders, and encourages friendship and understanding between South Africa's varied communities. The Duke and Duchess also got to view the first known manuscript of the Qu’ran in Africa, drafted by Tuan Guru from memory, whilst he was imprisoned on Robben Island. ••• Heritage Day celebrated the great diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the rainbow nation. Bo Kaap streets filled with colour and music while Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Cape Town. The area has seen inter-community tension rise over the last few years, yet days like today show how faith, traditions, food and music bring people together, and celebrate the things that unite each and every one of us. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ Shutterstock / PA images

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Lithuania pardons Russian spies ahead of possible swap with Moscow

Updated 15 November 2019

Lithuania pardons Russian spies ahead of possible swap with Moscow

  • The Russians were sentenced in 2017 by Lithuanian courts
  • A Norwegian might also be part of the prisoners’ swap

VILNIUS: Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Friday pardoned two Russians jailed by Vilnius for espionage, an official statement said, paving the way for a possible spy swap with Moscow.
Nauseda signed the decree to pardon Nikolai Filipchenko and Sergei Moisejenko who are serving prison terms for espionage in the Baltic EU and NATO state, according to the statement published on his official website.
Both Russians were sentenced by Lithuanian courts in 2017. They could be exchanged for two Lithuanian citizens, Yevgeny Mataitis and Aristidas Tamosaitis, convicted of spying in Russia in 2016, the Baltic News Service said.
A Norwegian, Frode Berg, convicted of spying and jailed in Russia could also be part of the swap, BNS said, quoting senior officials who requested anonymity.
Nauseda’s decree said the Russians were pardoned in line with a new law on spy swaps.
Presidential spokesman Antanas Bubnelis declined further comment when contacted by AFP on Friday.
Lithuanian officials said Filipchenko worked for the FSB Russian federal security service and was trying to recruit senior officials in the Baltic state, which was under Moscow’s thumb during the Soviet era.
He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and did not appeal.
Moisejenko was jailed for 10 years and six months after a Vilnius court ruled he recruited a Lithuanian army captain who served at the country’s Siauliai military air base. He had pleaded innocent.
The two Lithuanians were sentenced in Russia in 2016 for allegedly sharing Russian military intelligence with Lithuania.