Oman: Oman: Online activist Talib Al-Saedi held incommunicado
On 23 March 2015, online activist Talib Al-Saedi disappeared after he was summoned by the Omani Internal Security Service to appear for investigation before the Special Division of the Omani Police in Muscat. It is believed that he is detained incommunicado at the Special Division with no access to his family or lawyer. It is believed that he was arrested in relation to his activities on social media networks, which include persistent calls for freedom and reform in Oman.
Al-Saedi is a well-known Omani activist who has been monitoring and documenting cases of detained activists by the Internal Security Service. On 13 July 2014, he was arrested and interrogated after he called for a peaceful march in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
For more information about recent human rights violations committed by the Internal Security Service see the following link: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/index/country/6
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) deplores the serious and repeated violations carried out by the Internal Security Service, which directly threaten freedom of opinion and expression in the country and that are inconsistent with local and international laws.
The GCHR expresses serious concern at the incommunicado detention of Al-Saedi and fears for his physical and psychological integrity. The GCHR believes that he is being targeted as part of an ongoing trend of targeting human rights defenders and online activists in Oman and endangering freedom of expression in the country.
The GCHR urges the authorities in Oman to:
- Ensure the release of online activist Talib Al-Saedi immediately and unconditionally;
- Grant Talib Al-Saedi immediate and unfettered access to his family and lawyer;
- Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Talib Al-Saedi; and
- 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.”