Detentions in Dhofar Governorate

The OCHRD expresses its concern regarding the increasing number of arrests in Taqah state, Dhofar Governorate. The OCHRD had previously documented the arrest of Dr.  Amer Ali Al-Mashani, an Islamic Education teacher, due to his leading of Eid al-Adha prayers on a date preceding the one officially designated by the authorities, which was Monday, June 17, 2024. The OCHRD fears that charges of inciting sectarian strife, under Article 108 of the Omani Penal Code, may be brought against the detainees, in addition to charges of disturbing public order. Accordingly, the OCHRD calls upon the Omani authorities to release Al-Mashani immediately and unconditionally.

Subsequent to the arrest of Dr. Ali on June 17, the authorities have also arrested the following individuals:

Mr. Saeed bin Mohammed Qaizah Al-Mashani and his son Mahmoud Al-Mashani, former Shura Council member Salem Mohammed Salem Al-Mashani, Engineer Saeed Salem Ali Al-Mashani, and Dr. Ahmed Masoud Mohammed Al-Mashani.

According to sources at the OCHRD, all detainees are currently being held at the Awqad Police Station in Dhofar Governorate. Some were arrested for participating in Eid prayers, while others were detained for attending a meeting of the Al-Mashani tribe. The OCHRD has learned that charges related to inciting sectarian strife, assembly or incitement to assemble, and disturbing public order are expected to be brought against them. 

Additionally, the OCHRD has learned that the authorities have issued demands for other citizens to surrender themselves, but these individuals have chosen not to comply with the authorities’ request.

The OCHRD condemns all the arrests and calls on the Omani authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees.

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