Oman: Arbitrary Detention of Human Rights Defender Mr Said Jaddad
Letter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
William Nicholas Gomes requests that Oman set this brave human rights activist free immediately and unconditionally.
Mr Said Jaddad photo courtesy: frontlinedefenders.org
(YORK, UK) - It is hard for western people to imagine perhaps, the idea of literally being banned from conducting human rights work.
Yet that is exactly what happened in Oman, to a blogger and human rights activist named Said Jaddad. Mr. Jaddad was arbitrarily arrested by a special division of police officers in Muscat and detained in a holding facility at the Muscat Police station.
The alleged 'crimes' are regular everyday activities for people in most of the world's countries. Said Jaddad is accused of documentating human rights abuses in Oman, as defined under international law, as well as writing critical blog posts about these violations.
These are activities that any human being should be free to carry out, yet Mr. Jaddad remains behind bars.
Our Human Rights Ambassador, Mr. William Nicholas Gomes, requests the government of Oman to set this brave human rights activist free immediately and unconditionally, and to guarantee that human rights defenders in Oman are all able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
Qaboos bin Said al-Said
Sultan of Oman; Prime Minister; Commander-in-Chief of the
Omani Armed Forces
Office of the Sultan
PO Box 875
I am William Nicholas Gomes Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.
I came to know about the situation from the Front Line Defenders, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
On 14 January 2013, human rights defender and blogger Mr Said Jaddad was arbitrarily arrested by the Special Division of Muscat Police Station, where he is currently being detained. Said Jaddad is a prominent local human rights defender and blogger that mainly works in the Dhofar region. Said Jaddad’s work includes the documenting of human rights violations as well as writing critical blog posts about recent human rights violations in Oman.
During the morning of 14 January, Said Jaddad received a call from the Special Division of Muscat Police Station, requesting that he present himself to the Station. No legal basis was provided for this request. Upon his arrival, the human rights defender was arrested and detained. He has been denied visitation rights and access to a lawyer, while no formal charges have yet been presented. Furthermore, Said Jaddad, who reportedly suffers from heart problems, has not been provided with medical attention.
Said Jaddad has previously been subjected to interrogation by police, on each occasion he was requested to sign an undertaking to cease working in the field of human rights, which he rejected. In February 2011, the human rights defender was summoned by the authorities in Dhofar, who proceeded to threaten him if he did not cease his contact with international non-governmental organisations. Said Jaddad has also been officially banned from publishing in the Omani media, including in newspapers which he has contributed to, such as Al Zaman and Ru’aya.
I would like to express my serious concern at the arbitrary detention of Said Jaddad, at his physical and psychological integrity, in particular given his reported medical condition. I believes Said Jaddad’s detention is solely motivated by his human rights work and I view this act as part of an ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders in Oman, including continued acts of judicial harassment.
I urge the authorities in Oman to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Said Jaddad as it is believed he is being arbitrarily detained with no formal charges in relation to his work in defence of human rights;
2. Ensure that his treatment while in detention adheres to international human rights standards and the international obligations of Oman;
3. Allow Said Jaddad immediate and unfettered access to his family and lawyer, and to appropriate medical treatment if needed;
4. Guarantee in all circumstances that 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.Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
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Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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