Alkarama human rights award 2015 for Omani MP Talib Al Ma’amari

December 3, 2015

On 8 December 2015 at 18:00, Alkarama will present its 2015 Alkarama Award for Human Rights Defenders in the Arab World to Talib Al Ma’amari a Member of the Omani Parliament who stands up for human rights.  The event will be held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva (Switzerland). “Talib Al Mamari is a prisoner of conscience and a courageous human rights defender. By his unwavering non-violent fight against harmful environmental policies in Oman, he has become a model in the region as a dedicated militant who is genuinely close to the citizens’ concerns. Alkarama is proud to honour him,” says Mourad Dhina, Executive Director at Alkarama. The ceremony will be live-streamed on: http://www.youtube.com/AlkaramaHR/live.

[A committed member of the Omani Parliament and environmental activist, Talib Al Mamari receives the award in recognition for his significant work defending human rights in the country, particularly since the crackdown on civil society following the protests of 2011. His nomination also honours Al Ma’amari’s courage speaking up for the Omani civil society before the Parliament, and reminding both the government and petrochemical companies of their obligations.  Elected to the Shura Council in 2011, Al Mamari sought to ensure governmental accountability in protecting the environment and public health in Oman. Three days after taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the petrochemical pollution threatening public health in his hometown of Liwa, Al Mamari was arrested on 24 August 2013 and charged with the offence of “crowding”. Released on bail on 11 October 2013, he was re-arrested a few hours later before being prosecuted and tried in an unfair trial. After his arrest, the Omani MP was held in solitary confinement in the Muscat National Security Prison and was not authorised to see his lawyer during the whole period preceding his appeal. In December 2013, the Court of Muscat sentenced him to four years in prison for “harming the State’s prestige” as well as one year for “disturbing public order” and “obstructing traffic”. Retried a number of times, his final sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 31 October 2014 to four years in prison.

He has since then been held in the Sama’il prison near Muscat, despite an Opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in December 2014 qualifying his detention as “arbitrary” and requesting the Government of Oman “to take the necessary steps to remedy to the situation of Dr Al. Mamari,” including “to immediately release him and to accord him an enforceable right to compensation.” His case was also considered by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, who acknowledged the importance of Al Mamari as a parliamentarian and the vital protection of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.]

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