Cairo on June 13, 2012
ANHRI denounced the arrests of dozens, over the past few days, by the authorities in Oman against activists, lawyers and bloggers for exercising their rights to oppose and raise their voices calling for reforms. The largest campaign of arrests was on Monday 11/6/2012 after a peaceful protest in-front Muscat police station (which has the authority of judicial arrest) in solidarity with the writers and bloggers who were arrested last week.
Among those arrested in the recent campaign, are the prominent opponents; Said al-Hashemi, Bassima al-Rajhi and a correspondent of Reuters news agency.
“The Omani regime is going crazy as the arrest this time was the largest over the past months and reached the opposition symbols and journalists who practice their jobs” said ANHRI.
A group of writers and activists organized a peaceful protest on Monday in Muscat in-front the police station and its notorious jailwho believed that the prisoners ofconscience being held inside.
This protest continued for the third consecutive day amid repeated security harassments in the light of the recent arrests carried out by authorities last week, and detained 10 activists.
This protest comes after the authority has threatened activists and opinion makers with arrests and trials.
Members of the riot police arrested all lawyers and activists involved in the demonstration who were estimated as dozens.
“The authorities have closed all roads leading to the protest using the police cars in the side of Araimi complex, in addition to riot police cordoning off the sit-in suddenly,” some of the activists said to ANHRI.
As well eye witnesses confirmed the wide spread of authorities men in civilian clothes on the perimeter of the area. Later, the detainees
were taken handcuffed to Sama’el prison, 90 km away from Muscat.
One of the prominent detainees is Said Sultan al-Hashemi who is a well known writer and blogger and was an active protester in the protests Oman witnessed in 2011. He was kidnapped, tortured and was thrown in the desert last year. Also Bassima al-Rajhi who is a media presenter
and an active protester as well who lived a similar experience to al-Hashemi’s in the same time.
Among the arrested as well :
Badr al-Jabri; writer and blogger and one of the three selected in the project of forming a reform association in the protests of 2011
Abdullah al-Badi; blogger and activist
Nasser Saleh al-Ghilani
Mahmoud Hamad; poet.
Mo’men al-Rashdi is 14 year old who is considered as the youngest detainee before being released yesterday. These are in addition to a number of other activists whom ANHRI couldn’t reach or know their names and some of them are relatives to those activists arrested last week.
The activists confirmed the detention of Reuters reporter who was detained in another place and his work ID was taken.
“The escalated fierce attack of the Omani authorities against activists and opinion makers shows how fearful these dictatorships from freedom of speech and opinion also it shows the activists determination to reform despite the sacrifices,” said ANHRI.
“Every regime that insists to violate the right to expression of peaceful assembly, will pay the price for it at the hands of its people.
The suppression of the protests last year and the adoption of legislation limiting the freedoms, all that was not enough to stifle the movement in the country,” added ANHRI.
ANHRI demands the Omani authorities and Sultan Qaboos for the immediate release of all activists and prisoners of conscience in the country and ensure their safety after their release, and the abolition of the legislative amendments approved last year that limit the freedom of opinion and expression in the country and threaten the lives of activists and opinion makers as they are contrary to all conventions and international treaties on human rights.