Oman: Oman: Human rights defender Noah Al-Saadi held incommunicado for over a week


According to credible reports, human rights defender, Noah Al-Saadi, has been held incommunicado since his arrest on 13 July 2014 at the Special Division of the Omani Police in Muscat. Information received by the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) confirmed that he is not allowed access to a lawyer. Furthermore, he has been denied any contact with his family who, despite their continuous visits to where he is being held, have only been told that he is detained pending an investigation carried out by the Internal Security Apparatus. It is worth noting that the relevant authorities have not filed any specific charges against him.

Noah Al-Saadi, a 32-year-old law student from Shinas state, is a well-known human rights defender in Oman who concentrates his activities in writing on his facebook page “Almohib Al-Saadi," which calls for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Oman. He was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of detainees Dr. Talib Al-Maamari and Saqr Al-Balushi, who the court refused to release on bail.  

This is the fourth arrest of Al-Saadi by Omani Internal Security. He had previously been arrested in Sohar during demonstrations in 2011, but was acquitted of the charges against him. He was also arrested in April 2013, allegedly to be interrogated, but was released two days later without charge. He was then arrested on 13 September 2013 for interrogation about his human rights activities and was released a month later on 12 October 2013.

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GCHR expresses serious concern at the ongoing incommunicado detention of Noah Al-Saadi. The GCHR is very concerned for his physical and psychological integrity, as he has no access to a lawyer or his family. 

The GCHR urges the authorities in Oman to: 

  1. Release human rights defender Noah Al-Saadi immediately and unconditionally as he is being targeted due to his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities;
  2. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Noah Al-Saadi;
  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 Oman 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.