Omani journalists arrested and detained ahead of Israeli Prime Minister visit

Expression

Freedom of expression continues to be undermined in Oman. Most recently, the Omani authorities have targeted journalists. According to the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and the Omani Human Rights Association, the Internal Security Service (ISS) had began to target bloggers and internet activists who are supporters of the Palestinian cause, ahead of Israeli Prime Minister’s visit during the last week of October 2018.

According to reports, on 23rd October 2018, Sultan Al-Maktoumi, an Internet activist and writer who writes for “Al-Raya” newspaper and the magazine “Al-Shabab Al-Toufahim” was summoned by the Special Division of Sohar Police Headquarters and detained. It was reported that Al-Maktoumi was likely arrested because of his articles, which called for reform and peaceful change and democracy, as well as his pro-Palestinian position. On 27th October 2018, Internet activist Salem Al-Arimi was arrested by the Special Division of the Omani Police Headquarters in Muscat after they summoned him because of his writings, which also called for reform.

Both activists were detained without arrest, and were denied access to their families.