- TRIAL OBSERVATION REPORT: Case Number 17/2013 “THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 94” / March 2013
- The GCHR 2013 Annual Report / Attacks on Human Rights Defenders Continue
- European Resolution on the UAE: "Biased and Prejudiced?" / Mission to UAE investigates crackdown on free expression in which 64activists have been detained
- Bahrain: The government continues to attack journalists and target press freedom
- International Mission to Bahrain Report / Justice Denied in Bahrain: Freedom of Expression and Assembly Curtailed
News from International Organizations
- UAE: Cameron Should Press Rulers on Torture
- Report on Bahrain’s Attorney General Dr. Ali bin Fadhel Al - Buainain and his position in the International Association of Prosecutors
- Ceartas submits complaint to Int’l Association of Prosecutors urging expulsion of Bahrain Attorney General
- Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring met the Tunisian Minister of Human Rights
- Bahraini rights defender denied the right to a fair trial
Written by HRDs and Journalists
Update: Oman- Human rights defenders sentenced to prison as crackdown continues
Beirut, 18 July 2012- Further to an appeal dated 29 June 2012, regarding the trial of human rights defenders in Oman (http://gc4hr.org/news/view/185) the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) has received information that five more human rights activists have been handed down prison sentences for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
On 16 July 2012, the Court of First Instance in Muscat handed down prison sentences to five human rights defenders and advocates of reform.
Photographer and director Mohammed bin Zayed bin Marhon Al-Habsi and Poet and activist Abdullad bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Araimi, were sentenced to one year in prison for insulting the Sultan. They had both participated in 2011 protests. Mohammed bin Zayed bin Marhon Al-Habsi had been previously detained in May 2011. It is suspected that he was sentenced due to his activity on Twitter.
Designer Talib bin Ali bin Hilal Al-Ebri, who is also active on Twitter and Facebook, law student Mohammed bin Khatir bin Rashid Al-Badi, who had been active in distributing information in relation to reforms and had attended meetings with other human rights activists, Student Mona Suhail Hardan, who writes on her Facebook page which is named “AlWard AlDhofari (Dhofar Flowers), were sentenced to one year for insulting the Sultan and a further six months for violating information technology law.
In addition to their sentences all five were fined SR 1000 (approximately $ 2600). They were released from detention on bail pending the hearing of their appeal.
The GCHR believes that the arrest, detention and sentencing of Mohammed bin Zayed bin Marhon Al-Habsi, Abdullad bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Araimi, Talib bin Ali bin Hilal Al-Ebri, Mohammed bin Khatir bin Rashid Al-Badi, and Mona Suhail Hardan are directly related to the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls on the authorities in Oman to:
- Immediately and unconditionally revoke the sentences against Mohammed bin Zayed bin Marhon Al-Habsi, Abdullad bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Araimi, Talib bin Ali bin Hilal Al-Ebri, Mohammed bin Khatir bin Rashid Al-Badi, , and Mona Suhail Hardan;
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Oman are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (b and c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (b) As provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms; (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” and to Article 12 (2): “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights is an independent centre and has been registered in Ireland. The Centre works to strengthen support for human rights defenders and independent journalists in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.