Gulf | Oman

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Oman releases blogger pending formal charges

Diab Al Amiri accused of violating cyber laws

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 13:09 May 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

Muscat: Security forces in Oman on Wednesday evening released a blogger from the town of Sinaw, about 198 km east of Muscat, who was detained on Monday evening, according to his lawyer.

“After three days of questioning Diab Al Amiri was released and now he could face charges of violating the country’s cyber laws,” advocate Yaqoub Al Harthi, told Gulf News.

He added that security forces took away Al Amiri from his house after he refused to respond to phone calls meant to ask him to report to the General Command of Police.

In reply to a question, Al Harthi said the defence team would have to wait for the charges to be pressed by the public prosecution before the case came up for hearing in a court. He said it seemed that Al Amiri was picked up after he wrote on social media websites about a land controversy and subsequent protests by local residents of Mudhaibi, about 160 km east of Muscat.

The security agencies cracked down on people posting politically charged statements online in May 2012 and put around 49 people on trial for insulting the sultan and violating the country’s cyber laws or for wrongful gatherings in public places.

However, in March, Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed pardoned all activists who were either facing charges of violating country’s cyber laws or wrongful public gatherings.

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