The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders today sent a letter to Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, to draw his attention to the prosecution of three journalists from the independent daily newspaper, Azamn.
The paper’s editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Maamari, deputy editor Yousif al-Haj, and an editor, Zaher al-Abri, were arrested after the paper published a July 26 article alleging corruption in the judiciary. The government has denied the allegations. At a trial hearing on August 22, a judge ordered al-Abri to be released on bail, but al-Maamari and al-Haj remain in custody, according to news reports.
The letter urges the sultan to intercede to end the prosecution of these journalists in order to preserve Oman’s reputation as a problem solver in the region. Before sending the letter, CPJ repeatedly requested comment via phone and email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the office of the Public Prosecutor, the Omani embassy in Washington, D.C., the Ministry of Information, and the judiciary. At the time of publication, no response had been received.