Oman - Alerts
Photographers Muhamed El-Habsi, Abdullah-El-Erimiand Abdul-bin-Salem El-Siabi were sentenced to one year imprisonment for insulting the Sultan and violating the information law.
The activists were given sentences ranging from six months to one year for participating in a sit-in in solidarity with other detained activists.
Arrests since the end of May include 22 peaceful protesters and nine online activists and writers amid rising discontent in the Persian Gulf sultanate over its perceived failure to carry out promised reforms.
Habiba Hana'ei published a testimony of prison conditions endured by prisoners of conscience in the country, including systematic torture.
Ammar Ma’amari, a blogger known for his criticism of the Omani authorities, has been asked by the Jordanian intelligence service to pack his bags in anticipation of a deportation order.
ANHRI demands the release of Mohamed al-Salty, an advocate for labour rights and democratic reforms who was recently abducted by the security services.
Muawiya al-Rawahy was arrested after he published his blog entry "Finally, I am free," where he expressed disappointment in the situation in his country and his lack of confidence in the reign of Sultan Qaboos.
The case against Yousef Al-Haj, Ibrahim Al-Mo’amari and Haroun Saeed was prompted by a 14 May article that quoted Saeed's allegations of growing corruption within the ministry and favouritism in appointments and promotions.
Ibrahim Al Moamari and Yusuf Al Haj were convicted fpr publishing a grievance from an employee at the Ministry of Justice.
ANHRI was informed that Ammar Al-Hanai and Ibrahim Al-Balushi have been tortured and kept in solitary confinement; their health is deteriorating as a result.
The Sultanate of Oman is threatening to shut down the independent newspaper Al-Zaman for publishing an article alleging corruption in the Ministry of Justice; the article's author, Youssef al-Haj, could face prison time if convicted.
Poets Saleh elAmeri, Ali elMakhmari and Ahmed alShehhi were detained along with several activists and journalists and are being held in an undisclosed location.
"Omani citizens should be able to peacefully assemble and petition their government for positive change," Human Rights Watch said.
"The continued monitoring, controlling and confiscating of books will only result in the Omani government being criticised for its hostility to freedom of expression," said ANHRI.
(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has expressed great concern over the trial of the Omani journalist and internet activist Ali al-Zwaidi who allegedly violated article 61 of the Omani communications law. The crime carries a sentence of up to a year in prison and a fine of one thousand Omani riyals (approx. US$2,600).
(Human Rights Watch/IFEX) - The following is an 18 July 2005 Human Rights Watch press release:
(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has condemned the 12 July 2005 arrest of poet and journalist Abdallah Al-Ryami for criticising human rights violations in Oman and deplored the strict censorship of writers and journalists by Omani authorities in the past few months.
(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has condemned the Sultanate of Oman for barring the media from giving space in publications or airtime to two writers and intellectuals, Mohammed Al Harthi and Abdallah Al Ryami, for the past five months. The organisation called for the writers to be allowed to be interviewed freely again.