UN rights experts urge Oman to release activist
UN rights experts urge Oman to release activist

[JURIST] UN rights experts on Friday urged [press release] the Omani government to release Said Ali Said Jadad, a human rights activist. Jadad, who promoted democratic reforms, was arrested last week with no warrant and charged with undermining the prestige of the state, inciting demonstrations, steering up sectarian strife and offending state officials. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai [official profiles] believe Jadad’s detention may be retaliation for assisting international organizations, noting several times Jadad has been arrested after visits from members of the UN. The Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) [advocacy website] has also denounced the arrest. Jadad has allegedly been harassed [GCHR press release] by the government for several months, including travel ban last October. Jadad was also detained last December when police raided his home.

In 2012 GCHR urged [JURIST report] the government of Oman to stop arresting protesters and other activists who were calling for political reform. According to the GCHR, many of those arrested advocated for political reforms, promoted human rights and called for the release of human rights defenders whom Omani authorities had detained. The previous year an Omani court sentenced [JURIST report] six human rights activists to between 12 and 18 months in prison for social media posts deemed to be slander against the country’s ruler, while another blogger was sentenced [JURIST report] to one year of imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 Omani Rials (USD $2,600). Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said later pardoned all activists and writers convicted, a decision praised [JURIST report] by Amnesty International [advocacy website].