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Detention of Activists Continues in Oman

[Saed Jadad. Image from gc4hr.org] [Saed Jadad. Image from gc4hr.org]

[This report was originally issued by the Gulf Center for Human Rights on 16 January 2013.]

Oman - Prominent human rights defender Saed Jadad arrested and detained

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) has received information that prominent human rights defender Saed Jadad has been arrested and remains in detention.

On 14 January 2013, Saed Jadad was summoned by the Special Branch Police to the General Police Headquarters in the capital of Muscat. It is believed that he is being held at the police headquarters and interrogated in relation to his human rights activities. To date no known charges have been brought against him and no communication has been received from him since he entered the police headquarters.

Saed Jadad is a long-standing, prominent human rights defender in Oman. He was instrumental in organising and leading pro-reform protests in Dhofar in 2011 and has spoken publicly to crowds of up to 20,000 people. He is an active blogger and has signed several petitions calling for reform in Oman. He has also been active in seeking information in relation to the death of his son who died 17 years ago in the Sultan hospital in Salalah.

Between 24 and 27 April 2012, he attended high level meetings in Brussels as a representative of human rights defenders in the Gulf as part of a delegation organised by the GCHR and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).The delegation, led by Maryam Al-Khawaja, deputy director and head of the GCHR International Office. Saed Jadad met with representatives of all the EU Members States, EU institutions, including the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Danish EU Presidency, and the European Parliament. For further information please see (http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/141http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/141).

The arrest of Saed Jadad comes in the context of ongoing repression of human rights defenders in Oman, many of who carry out their legitimate work under threat of intimidation and personal danger. The GCHR believes that his arrest and detention is directly related to his peaceful and legitimate human rights work and his calls for reform in Oman. The GCHR calls on the Sultan and authorities in Oman to ensure that he is immediately released. 

The GCHR urges the authorities in Oman to: 

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Saed Jadad;
  2. Grant Saed Jadad immediate and unfettered access to his family and lawyer;
  3. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Saed Jadad;
  4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Oman are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (c): “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” and to Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

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