Sultanate of Oman: Skyline calls on judicial authorities to release a journalist detained for tweet, coinciding with the start of his trial today
Stockholm- Skyline International for Human Rights calls on judicial authorities in the Sultanate of Oman to immediately release journalist and human rights defender "Mukhtar Al-Hinai," whose first trial for his tweet begins today. It emphasises that such practices are an unacceptable attack on freedom of opinion expression guaranteed by both the Omani Constitution and international law.
In a statement released today (Sunday) that today is the first trial of Omani journalist "Mukhtar Al-Hinai" after he was accused of publishing a tweet on Twitter talking about corruption cases in the Sultanate of Oman, which prompted the relevant authorities to detain him and put him on trial in the capital Muscat.
"Skyline" points out that the information issued by several human rights organisations confirmed that the investigation with the journalist "Al-Hinai" lasted about two hours, after which he was informed that he was tried on the basis of Article 249 of the Omani Penal Code. The article stipulates that "is punishable by imprisonment for not less than one month and not more than two years and a fine of not less than 100 hundred and not more than 1.000 thousand Omani riyals for anyone who publishes news by any means without the permission of the public prosecutor's office or the competent court: A- news about an ongoing investigation or the publication of a document about this investigation,...".
Skyline stresses that the arbitrary and unjustified ban on entry by the Omani authorities and the forcing of the deletion of the tweet he had shared through his account is a clear and incomprehensible attack on freedom of opinion and expression.
For its part, Skyline iindicates that the judicial authorities had postponed the trial of Al-Hinai, whose first session was scheduled for 08 May 2022. However, he received a phone call informing him of the postponement of his trial to June 19, 2022, without explaining the legal reasons behind it.
"Skyline" states that "AA-Hinai" is known for his positions in defense of human rights and is one of the most prominent activists of the 2011 popular protests. He was also arrested, investigated and targeted several times. Despite this, he continued his civil activism and peacefully demanded the rights of Omani citizens.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on the Omani authorities to halt the trial of journalist and activist "AlHinai" and to work to ensure that media professionals and human rights defenders can carry out their work without restriction or prosecution. Itstresses the importance of individuals and institutions having adequate space to exercise their fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. Both Omani and international law.