Oman: Internet activist Ghazi Al-Awlaki must be freed

08.09.20

Update: Oman: On 07 September 2020, Internet activist Ghazi Al-Awlaki has been released.

2020-08-25

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) express their grave concern at the continued detention in Oman of Internet activist Ghazi Al-Awlaki by the Internal Security Service (ISS) for his peaceful activities on social media.

On 19 July 2020, after being summoned by the Special Division, the executive arm of the notorious ISS, Al-Awlaki was arbitrarily arrested and detained upon entering a police station in the Dhofar Governorate. Local reports confirmed that he has been isolated from the outside world as he has not yet been allowed to contact his family or a lawyer.

On 25 May 2020, Al-Awlaki posted on his Facebook account the following, "Many Arab governments now have thousands of virtual knights on social communications sites ... virtual armies on Twitter and Facebook and others ... drumming, chants and victories ... As in the real world, plundered and humiliated like ostriches, chickens, and striped donkeys ... We have not heard about American, Russian, Chinese, or even British flies ... they are all Arabs ... By God, making fun of the nations."

On 23 November 2015, Al-Awlaki posted on his Twitter account the following, "The political events in the Arab region have proven that oppressive totalitarian regimes do not deal and practise only with sectarians, fanatics and terrorists."

GGHR and OAHR condemn the arbitrary arrest of Ghazi Al-Awlaki and his incommunicado detention, and demand the Omani authorities to release him immediately and without any conditions, as his targeting is related only to his peaceful and legitimate activities on social media.

The ISS must cease its repressive and systematic policies and respect public freedoms, including freedom of expression and opinion, on and off the Internet.