An Omani court on June 25 began a hearing against protesters who have been accused of defamation and illegal assembly. The Omani authorities have arrested more than 30 individuals who had been protesting against the government to demand political reform, promote human rights and call for the release of detained human rights defenders. The court proceedings opened with hearing the case against 15 protesters, four of whom have been charged with defamation and incitement to protests and strikes in an oil facility, and the remainder of whom have been charged with illegal assembly.
Earlier this month the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) urged the government of Oman to release all human rights defenders who have been detained solely because of their legitimate human rights work, drop all charges against them, ensure security of the protesters in detention and take measures to protect human rights defenders when pursuing legitimate human rights activities from any harassment. Last year Oman’s Misdemeanour Court of First Instance in Muscat sentenced 13 protesters with to five years in prison on charges of blocking roads and assaulting government employees.
From Jurist, June 26. Used with permission.