Originally published on September 10, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman
Goal: Free human rights advocate who disappeared after being summoned to police station
A prominent blogger and human rights activist, Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman, received orders to appear at the police station. On August 30, 2014, he arrived at the police station and was never seen again. Instead of admitting to detaining Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman, law enforcement officials refuse to give any information to his family and lawyer. The government of Oman must release this human rights advocate immediately.
After receiving a summons from the General Directorate of Inquires and Criminal Investigations of the Omani Police, Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman showed up at the police station, but he never left. As founder and editor of the e-magazine Mowatin (“Citizen”), he advocated for freedom of speech and expression. His work has made him a target of law enforcement officials.
In August 2012, Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman was convicted of insulting the ruler, violating cybercrime law, and unlawful gathering. He was eventually pardoned by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said and released last year. In October 2013, he was arrested again and told to shut down his website. State security reportedly told Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman that the next time they arrested him, they would never release him.
By signing the petition below you will urge the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said, to release Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman from police custody and protect him from further abuse.
Dear Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said,
Human rights advocate Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman disappeared after following orders to appear at the police station in Muscat. He has been targeted several times by law enforcement in the past for his work defending human rights and has been threatened by police officers. Human rights workers are not attempting to undermine your authority. Their work illuminates the government’s mistakes in order to correct the system and improve the lives of your people. They do not deserve to be subjected to the very crimes they are trying to prevent.
You found it within your heart to pardon Mohamed Al Fazari Abdelrahman before, but will you do so again? His only crime was attempting to help your people, but a personal grudge on the behalf of the police has placed his life at risk. You have the power to save his life and give this man his freedom. Will you join him in the fight to improve your country or will you turn your back on him?
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Bohrer via Wikimedia Commons