Oman: arbitrary arrest of Said Jaddad

January 16, 2013

One does near much about Oman and the impression could be that it is doing relatively well (the position of women is acknowledged to be good; there is a governmental Human Rights Commission and limited democracy) but after reports in 2012 by AI, HRW and Freedom House amongst others, Frontline now, 14 January 2013, reports the arbitrary arrest of human rights defender and blogger Said Jaddad by the Special Division of Muscat Police Station, where he is currently being detained. Said Jaddad’s work includes the documenting of human rights violations as well as writing critical blog posts about human rights violations in Oman.Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

On 14 January, Said Jaddad received a call from the Special Division of Muscat Police Station, requesting that he present himself to the Station. No legal basis was provided for this request. Upon his arrival, the HRD was detained. He has been denied visitation rights and access to a lawyer, while no formal charges have yet been presented. Furthermore, Said Jaddad, who reportedly suffers from heart problems, has not been provided with medical attention. He has previously been subjected to interrogation by police, on each occasion he was requested to sign an undertaking to cease working in the field of human rights, which he rejected. In February 2011, the human rights defender was threatened if he did not cease his contact with international non-governmental organisations. Said Jaddad has also been officially banned from publishing in the Omani media, including in newspapers, such as Al Zaman and Ru’aya.

Front Line Defenders expresses serious concern at the arbitrary detention of Said Jaddad, and at his physical and psychological integrity, in particular given his reported medical condition. Front Line Defenders believes Said Jaddad’s detention to be solely motivated by his human rights work and views this act as part of an ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders in Oman, including continued acts of judicial harassment. For further information on this situation, please see Front Line Defenders’ appeal dated 15 June 2012 .

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