Oman detains human rights activists

Oman detains human rights activists
Five bloggers were reportedly arrested in Oman because of alleged critical comments of the government on social media.
1 min read
06 August, 2015
Oman is one of the most stable countries in the Arab world [AFP]

Five bloggers in Oman have been detained by internal security over allegations that they criticised the government on social media.

Local media have named the five men as Dr. Saleh al-Azri, Mukhtar al-Hinai, Ali al-Muqbali, Talib al-Saidi, and Mahmoud al-Fazari.

At least three of these – Azri, Hinai and Saidi - have reportedly been arrested on previous occasions due to their activist work.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights said that on 3 August, Azri, Hinai and Saidi were summoned to the special division branch in Muscat - the executive body of the country's internal security - who were investigating the three men.

The human rights group said that the activists refused to cooperate unless a warrant was presented, and were arrested at seven hours later, at 9pm. 

The three men have been held incommunicado by the security services ever since.

The group said that the activists were arrested due to their "peaceful and legitimate" human rights work and social media activities.

Salih - a doctor who works for the ministry of health - was said to have criticised new medical regulations, and is well-known for his activism in the sultanate.

Al-Balad reported that the activist announced that he was on hunger strike following his arrest.