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Oman Shura delegation prepares to visit hunger strikers in prison

Shura group waiting for government clearance to visit prison

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:07 February 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Al Hashemi family
  • Prominent writer Saeed Al Hashemi with his daughter at the Royal Hospital in Muscat. Al Hashemi is now back in prison where he is continuing his hunger strike
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Muscat: A delegation comprising elected members of the Shura Council is expected to visit the high-security Central Prison in Sumayil to meet with activists on a hunger strike.

“We are waiting for the government to clear the Shura delegations’ visit to the prison,” Malek Bin Hilal Bin Mohammad Al Abri, representative of Hamraa governorate in the Shura Council, told Gulf News on Wednesday.

“We met the family members of those sentenced to prison on different counts and realised that for the sake of worried family members we must visit the prison and apprise ourselves with the latest situation,” he said, sounding optimistic that the clearance will come quickly from the government to visit the prison in Sumayil.

Khalfan Al Badwawi, whose trial for insulting Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed is still pending in the primary court after more than seven hearings, told Gulf News that the Shura Council President Shaikh Khalid Bin Hilal Bin Naseer Al Maawali had assured the family members that the Supreme Court would take up their trial next Monday, March 4.

More than 50 family members of those in prison on charges of wrongful gathering as well as insulting the Sultan and violating cyber laws on Tuesday met the Shura chairman and other elected members, urging them to intervene and end the indefinite fast by 23 activists in the Central Prison in Sumayil.

Meanwhile, writer and rights activists Saeed Al Hashemi was moved back from Royal Hospital to the prison in Sumayil on Tuesday, his wife Khawala informed Gulf News. The well-known Omani writer is sentenced to a year in prison for wrongful gathering.

Al Hashemi, who was treated first at the Khoula Hospital and then at the Royal Hospital, recovered after being put on IV drip but has continued his hunger strike. During his stay at the hospital, his family members visited him, including his daughter Ward.

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