Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Repression in Oman

"On 19 June 2012, due to their deteriorating health, women human rights defenders Basma Al-Keumy, lawyer, and Basma Al-Rajehy, writer and TV broadcaster, ended their hunger strike aimed at their administrative detention which continued until 24 June 2012 and the lack of access to their families and lawyers.  Both women were arrested on 11 June 2012 along with approximately 20 other protestors when security forces and anti-riot police broke up a three-day protest held in front of the General Police Headquarters in the capital of Muscat. The protestors demands included, respect for human rights and the release of all detained human rights defenders in Oman.  Administrative detention, which is often used by the security forces in Oman, is a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial. It violates the detainees' rights to a fair trial, guaranteed by article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is considered to be part of the international customary law.  Basma Al-Keumy and Basma Al-Rajehy are still not given proper access to their families and lawyers. According to some reports received, Basma Al-Keumy experiences severe asthma attacks, while Basma Al-Rajehy is vomiting blood. Both defenders are suffering from overall fatigue and they have no access to medical care in the prison.   Al-Keumy and Al-Rajehy are amongst the most recognizable human rights defenders who led the protests that have swept Oman in February 2011. Al-Keumy was previously detained in 2011 and released without any charges levied against her. Al-Rajehy was kidnapped and tortured also in 2011. "