Saturday, April 20, 2013

Omani Activists Missing

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information 19 April 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) holds the Omani government accountable for endangering the lives of human rights defender Saleh Al-Azri and blogger Noah El-Saadi, both of whom had disappeared a few days ago.

Al-Azri, who is quite active on social media networks, is known for his continued demands to reform the health care system in Oman and for his solidarity with those who were accused of insulting the Sultan, for peacefully assembling and for violating the Information Technology Act (IT). He disappeared on 14 April 2013 after being summoned for investigation by the Omani Internal Security Intelligence Department. He was told to appear at the Special Unit's office with his personal documents. Al-Azri has been missing ever since. Certain activists exchanged news on social media networks claiming he had contacted his family from his unknown location.

Blogger and activist El-Saadi disappeared on 16 April 2013 in pretty much the same way as Al-Azri. He was summoned to court then moved to a secret detention centre employed by the country's internal security services. He is one of the participants of the Sahar demonstrations in 2011 where he was detained as part of a campaign of mass arrests conducted by the authorities.

“The arrest of the human rights defender Al-Azri and the blogger El-Saadi and their detention in unknown locations is a serious violation to freedom of expression. It proves that the arbitrary arrest of activists is continuing in the Sultanate,” said ANHRI.

The network calls on the Omani authorities to reveal the activists' locations, release them, and grant their safety. It also demands that authorities publicly provide reasons for the activists' arrest.

Related reading:  World Report 2012: Oman

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