Oman: Harsh Sentences of Jail against Six Activists in respect of Opinion Cases, among them a member of the Omani team for Human Rights
Cairo September 10, 2012
The Arabic Network for Human Rights condemns the sentences issued by Muscat Preliminary Court, in the hearing held yesterday, Sunday September 9, 2012, to prosecute six activists. They are accused of insulting the Sultan, undermining the state position and crimes of information technology. The court sentenced them to a year and half jail and a fine of 1000 RO.
Despite the prosecution pressing the charges of inciting the people to assembly, the court had convicted, the activist and the member of the Omani team for human rights “Ismail bin Ali bin Hamdan El-Meqbaly”, of insulting the Sultan, undermining the position of the state and crimes of information technology due to covering the workers’ strike that took place in the petroleum city of “Fehood” on last May.
The court also convicted the activists “Issac bin Sultan bin Yusuf El-Aghbari”, Ali bin Mubarak bin Khamis El-Hagi”, “Mahmoud bin Mohamed bin Naser El-Jamodi”, “Hasan bin Khamis bin Mohamed El-Reqishi” and “Nabhan bin Salem bin Abdullah El-Hansi”. They were convicted of insulting the Sultan, violating the information technology law and undermining the position of the state due to their participation in the demonstrations that took place on last June. These demonstrations called for the release of some activists who were previously arrested for their solidarity with the detainees.
In the same context the court adjourned the trial of another six activists to the hearing of September 16, 2012.
ANHRI said that “the sentences against the activists are deemed to be politicized. The government seeks to silence the voices of the dissents and the activists who call for reformers. The sentences are deemed to be a punishment, due to their human rights’ activity and demands for political and social reformations in the country, as all the activists who were referred to trial participated in the marches and the demonstrations that took place in Oman 2011, as the security body controls the judiciary. Such a control could be actually proved by the differences between the charges in which the prosecution referred “Ismail El-Meqbaly” to the court and the charges in which the sentence was based upon, furthermore, the prosecution released the members of the Omani team who participated with him in covering the strike.
ANHRI called the Omani authorities to immediately release all the activists and drop all the malicious charges against them. Moreover, ANHRI calls the authorities to guarantee their safety and stop legally to prosecute them, particularly, as they did not commit any crime but peacefully expressing their opinions.
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