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Oman activist in hospital after hunger strike

Sohar protest detainees to join fasting prisoners

Gulf News

Muscat: Detained poet-activist Saeed Al Hashemi has been taken to hospital after his condition deteriorated during a hunger strike that entered its eighth day on Saturday.

“He is in the Royal Hospital in Muscat and put on an IV drip but continues to be on a fast,” Al Hasehmi’s wife Khowla told Gulf News through a message on a social media website.

She confirmed that Al Hashemi’s condition had improved since being in hospital. The poet, his wife pointed out, was in solitary confinement after he began his hunger strike with 17 others at the high security Sumayil Central Prison.

Meanwhile, a tweet by an activist said that Esmail Al Muqabali, Mohammad Al Habsi, Mukhtar Al Hinai, Ali Al Muqabali were moved on Thursday to a hospital in Sumayil after their sugar levels dropped due to a hunger strike.

It is also learnt that detainees spending time for their role in the 2011 Sohar protests have decided to join the hunger strike to show solidarity with the 18 already on a fast to press for their demands.

The activists want to see the court hold hearings in their pending cases, the Supreme Court to respond to their appeal against the Appeal Court verdict and improve prison conditions for the activists.

Esmail Al Muqabali, who is on suspension from his employers PDO, told Gulf News last week over the phone from Sumayil Prison that the delay in taking up cases for some who are already sentenced in one case could increase their stay in prison. “If the judgment is passed in their second case now, then they do not have to spend additional time and complete prison term simultaneously in both cases,” he said.