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Sohar protesters could be released in Oman amnesty

14 serving term in maximum security prison in Sumayil could be freed on Tuesday

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:53 July 22, 2013
  • Gulf News

Muscat: Although no official announcement has been made, social media and local web-based forums were abuzz with news about the imminent release of 14 protesters still in maximum security prison in Sumayil.

However, Hamdan Al Alawi, the older brother of one of the imprisoned protesters, Khalid Al Alawi, said that he would believe this only when he hears from his brother or sees him released along with the 13 others.

“I also heard from a source in Sumayil that the 14 protesters will be released tomorrow but there’s has been no official intimation so far,” he said.

The families of the 14 are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping to see the protesters come out on Tuesday when the country celebrates Renaissance Day.

According to a source, a member of the National Human Rights Commission had confirmed that the 14 protesters could be released on Tuesday.

Arabic daily Azamn said on its website quoting sources that a special amnesty was given to the 14 protesters serving various jail terms in Sumayil.

On Sunday, Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed granted pardon to 215 prisoners, including 139 citizens, on the occasion of the country’s Renaissance Day on July 23.

Some relatives of the Sohar protesters anticipated the release of their kin among the 139 citizens granted amnesty by the country’s ruler but none was on the list.

Seven of the 14 were jailed for 30 months on charges of planning to make a bomb for terrorist activities while seven others were given five years for their role in violent protests and forcing closure of government institutions during protests in Sohar in 2011.

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