Oman: Oman: Writer, broadcaster and online activist Sulaiman Al-Moamari detained by Internal Security Service

04.05.16

As we mark World Press Freedom Day this week, on 03 May 2016, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), calls for the release of Omani writer, broadcaster and online activist Sulaiman Al-Moamari. He has been detained incommunicado since 28 April 2016 in solitary confinement in the capital, Muscat. 

Al-Moamari was summoned by the Omani Internal Security Service (ISS) via telephone to appear immediately for investigation before the Special Division of the Omani Police General Command. According to reports received by GCHR, he was not given any access to his family or lawyer following his detention.

It is believed that he is detained in relation to his recent activities on social media networks, in particular his Facebook page, in which he showed solidarity with cinema critic and online activist Abdullah Habib, who has been detained since 15 April 2016. See: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1237

Al-Moamari is a well-known writer and broadcaster in Oman. He wrote many books and received the 2007 Suhail Idris Award for short stories. Also he participated in the popular protests in 2011. He produced many successful radio cultural programs.

For more information about recent human rights violations committed by the ISS, see the following link: 

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/index/country/6 

GCHR expresses serious concern at the incommunicado detention of Al-Moamari. GCHR believes that he is being targeted as part of an ongoing trend of targeting human rights defenders and online activists and endangering freedom of expression in the country by the ISS in Oman.

GCHR urges the authorities in Oman to: 

  1. Immediately and without any conditions release Sulaiman Al-Moamari;
  2. Immediately release all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in Oman whose detention relates only to the peaceful and legitimate work in the promotion and protection of human rights; and
  3. 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. 

The GCHR respectfully reminds the Omani authorities 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 (c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (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, which provides that “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.