Oman called on to release detained journalist

Oman called on to release detained journalist
An advocacy group for journalists is asking Oman to release a state radio reporter detained in the country since late April.
2 min read
13 May, 2016
Oman has not seen major unrest following the 2011 Arab Spring [Twitter]

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders [RSF] has urged Omani authorities to release a journalist held in solitary confinement since his arrest more than two weeks ago on unknown charges.

"[We are] very concerned about the arbitrary detention of Omani journalist and writer Sulaiman al-Moamari, who has been held in solitary confinement ever since his arrest by intelligence officials on 28 April without any official reason being given," a statement said.

It quoted local media as saying the 42-year-old heads the cultural department at Omani state radio and is popular due to "his writings and pro-democracy views".

On the evening of 28 April, Moamari was summoned for questioning by the intelligence service.

"The authorities must give their reasons for arresting Sulaiman al-Moamari and must say where they are holding him," said RSF's Alexandra El-Khazen.

"We urge the Omani authorities to either bring charges against him, so that he has the right to a fair trial, or free him at once," she added.

Several Omani and other Arab journalists and writers have voiced outrage at his detention, which is seen as tantamount to enforced disappearance.

It said that a petition demanding his release has been posted online.

Omani officials could not be reached for comment Friday, the start of the country's weekend. The state-run Oman News Agency has not reported on Moamari's detention.

Last week, Omani authorities released human rights defender Abdullah Habib after he was held incommunicado for 20 days, after he made posts on Facebook critical of the government.

Oman, ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has not seen major unrest since the Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011.