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Written by HRDs and Journalists
Update: Oman- Human rights defenders and activists sentenced, trials continue
Further to our three appeals, dated 29 June 2012, 18 July 2012, and 9 August 2012, regarding the trial of human rights defenders in Oman (For more information kindly see: http://www.gc4hr.org/news/index/country/6), the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) has received information that thirteen human rights defenders and activists have been brought before the Court of First Instance in Muscat for exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.
On 26 August 2012, the Court of First Instance in Muscat has sentenced thirteen human rights defenders and advocates of reform, convicted on alleged charges of gathering, violating information technology law, and insulting the Sultan. The sentences are outlined below:
- Ms Maymona Rashid Al-Badi has been sentenced to a suspended one year in prison from which she has to serve 20 days and pay a bail of 1500 Rials (3900 US$).
- Mr. Mukhtar Mohamed Al-Hinaei, Mr. Khaled Saleh Al-Nawfali, Mr. Hatem Al-Maliki, Mr. Sultan Al-Sa’adi, and Mr. Isaac Al-Agbary, have been released on bail of 2500 Rials (6500 US$).
- Mr. Mohammad Khalifa Al-Fazari has been released on bail of 3000 Rials (7800 US$).
- The court extended the imprisonment of Mr. Nabhan Al-Hanshi, Mr. Ismael Al-Miqbali, Mr. Mahmoud Mohamed Al-Jamodi, Mr. Ali Al-Haji, Mr. Hassan Al-Ruqayshi, and Mr. Khalfan Al-Badwawi to the next hearing which is scheduled on 09 September 2013.
The GCHR believes that there is an on-going trend in Oman towards using the most politically oriented judiciary to create false politically-motivated cases against human rights defenders and activists.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls on the authorities in Oman to:
- Immediately and unconditionally revoke all the sentences against the aforementioned human rights defenders and activist;
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders and journalists 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.”
Please write immediately in English, Arabic, or your own language to:
1. Urge the authorities to immediately and unconditionally revoke all the sentences against the aforementioned human rights defenders and activist;
2. Stop immediately from targeting human rights defenders and activists who are engaged in their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.
Please Send Appeals now TO:
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id
Head of State, Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Finance Minister
Diwan of the Royal Court
Sultanate of Oman
Fax: +968 24 735 375
His Excellency Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal bin Said Al Busaidi
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of Interior
PO Box 127
Sultanate of Oman
Mr Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Riyami
National Human Rights Commission
P.O.Box 29, Postal Code: 103
Bareq A' Shati
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Fax: +968 24648801
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.