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Activists released in Oman but arrests continue

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounces the arrest of two activists, Hatem El-Maliki and Khalfan Ben Issa El-Badrawi, without legal justification as well as the continued arrest of activist Amar El-Moameri. None of them have been charged or brought before investigative committees.

On 15 March 2013, Omani security forces arrested El-Maliki at the forces' general headquarters in El-Qarem in a section of the building known as “the special section”. Maliki was previously arrested on 14 June 2012 and charged with insulting the Sultan. He was then released on 27 August 2012 on bail. His case, which was still being reviewed and was adjourned 13 times, was then scheduled for 20 March 2013.

El-Badrawi, who was also previously arrested in 2012 on charges of insulting the Sultan, was arrested again by security forces on 16 March 2013 and will appear in court on 20 March 2013.

According to some Omani activists, the Omani internal security forces made a surprise visit to an activist in his office one day and demanded that he keep silent on issues related to prisoners of opinion (charged for illegally assembling, insulting the sultan, and for being in violation of the Information Technology Act).

In a related context, Omani authorities have released a number of activists on personal recognizance including Said El-Hashimi, Said El-Ghelani, Bader El-Gabri, Basema El-Kimi, Basema El-Raghi, and Abdullah El-Ghelani after the Supreme Court's decision to accept their appeal was announced on 4 March 2013. The appeal was submitted in those cases where prisoners were charged with illegal assembly. All were released except three activists, Mohamed El-Fazari, Mahmoud El-Raghi, and Khaled El-Nofali.

“The arrests of El-Maliki and El-Badrawi, as well the harassment of another Omani activist, are a continuation of the violations committed by the regime against the country's activists and bloggers,” stated ANHRI.
ANHRI calls on the authorities to immediately release those who are still detained and to ensure their safety. ANHRI holds the Omani authorities responsible for any risks and violations the activists face during detention.

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