Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrests of two Omani bloggers and activists, Noah Saadi and Muawiyah Al-Rawahi, on 12 July for reporting human rights violations in Oman.
“Saadi and Rawahi are being held because of what they posted online about human rights violations in their country,” said Reporters Without Borders assistant research director Virginie Dangles.
“Their arrests are intended to intimidate all dissidents and sent a clear message to all those who express themselves freely in Oman. RWB calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these two bloggers.”
Rawahi was arrested in connection with an entry the previous day in his blog “Bobo Wassaa” about the fine of 1,000 rials (2,000 euros) that teacher Ahmed Al-Bahri received on 9 July on a charge of “disturbing public order” for participating in a teachers’ strike.
Headlined “Ahmed Al-Bahri, strike’s scapegoat,” his blog post described the persecution of activists and bloggers and the repressive methods used by the Omani security apparatus.
Saadi, who uses the blog name of “Al-Moheeb Al-Saadi,” received a summons on 12 July to report the next day to the Special Section of the Omani Police in Muscat. The police nonetheless arrested him later the same day after he had returned home.
No official reason has been given for his arrest and he has still not been allowed access to his lawyer.
Saadi was previously arrested in September 2011 for criticizing the Omani authorities in his blog.