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The Pegasus Project: MENA Surveillance Coalition demands an end to the sale of surveillance technology to the region’s autocratic governments

We, the undersigned human rights organizations, call for an immediate halt to the use, sale and transfer of surveillance technology to autocratic oppressive governments across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In light of revelations exposing the staggering scale of surveillance targeted at human rights defenders including journalists, bloggers and Internet activists facilitated by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, we ...

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Oman: Freedom of assembly and expression violated during recent popular protests

Popular protests have receded in Oman, after they started in the province of Sohar on 23 May 2021, and spread to the provinces of Salalah, Ibri, Sur, Ibra and Rustaq. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) have documented violations related to the rights to freedom of assembly and expression. The protesters, ...

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Oman: Security forces suppress popular protests demanding job opportunities for unemployed youth

(OAHR) call on the authorities to respect freedom of expression and assembly after protests spread across several areas of the country, and the authorities attempted to restrict the media from reporting about demonstrations. On 23 May 2021, protests erupted in the city of Sohar, which is 234 km north of the capital, Muscat, by unemployed or laid-off Omani youths, who ...

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Oman: Two environmental activists await trial after a third activist acquitted

held a session during which it decided to release the environmental activist Dr. Ahmed Issa Qatan on bail until the date of the next hearing, which is scheduled to take place on 17 March 2021.Likewise, the same court of First Instance held a second hearing on 10 March 2021, during which it acquitted Internet activist Amer Muslim Bait Saeed (Amr ...

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Oman: Two activists detained by security authorities while a third activist referred to court

Association for Human Rights (OAHR) confirmed that, on 28 February 2021, the security authorities in Oman’s Dhofar Governorate arrested poet and Internet activist Salem Ali Al-Maashani and Internet activist Amer Muslim Bait Saeed (Amr Al-Hkli). The arrests are a result of the Internal Security Service (ISS) campaign against activists who are seeking to preserve the traditional way of life in ...

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Oman: Detention of environmental activist Dr. Ahmed Issa Qatan extended for two weeks before trial

According to reliable local reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR), on 24 February 2021, the security authorities brought environmental activist Dr. Ahmed Issa Qatan to appear before the Public Prosecution, where he was investigated and charged with using social media in a way that would prejudice public order. ...

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Oman: Internal Security Service arrests environmental activist Dr. Ahmed Issa Qatan

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) have received reports confirming that the Internal Security Service (ISS) has arrested environmental activist Dr. Ahmed Issa Qatan. On 23 February 2021, Dr. Qatan was summoned to appear before the Special Division of the Salalah Police Command, where he was arrested upon arrival. The Special ...

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Oman: Internal Security Service establishes new mechanism of control over the Internet

On 10 June 2020, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued decree No. 64 of 2020 establishing the Cyber Defence Centre, and accordingly on 14 June 2020 the Official Gazette No. 1345 published the method of work of this centre, which includes 11 articles. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) are concerned that ...

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Oman: Freedom of expression continues to be targeted

Freedom of expression remains at risk in Oman, where Internet activists and journalists are routinely arrested on charges related to “misuse of social media”. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Omani Association for Human Rights (OAHR) call for an end to the censorship of online human rights activities. On the evening of 03 June 2020, Internet activist ...

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Oman: Trial of writer and civil society activist Musallam Al-Ma’ashani postponed indefinitely

Local reports confirmed that the trial in Oman of writer and civil society activist Musallam Al-Ma’ashani has been postponed indefinitely due to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was released on 25 April 2020, with a bail of 3,000 OMR ($7,800). A letter issued by the Public Prosecution in Salalah on 12 March 2020 had asked Al-Ma’ashani to appear ...

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