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Union activist detained

(ANHRI/IFEX) – 15 February 2012 – ANHRI condemns the detention of Mohamed al-Salty, union activist, for more than a week in the Internal Security headquarters of the Omani security services, who have not brought him to any judicial investigative body or given any reason for such an arbitrary detention.

Al-Salty had completely disappeared for three days at the beginning of last week. No one knew any information on his whereabouts or status. His family searched for him until they were able to find out that he was detained by the Omani security services, which had abducted and put him in custody without giving a reason. However, it is likely that al-Salty has been detained because of his role in the defense of labor rights and democratic reforms.

Al-Salty is a prominent unionist and was head of the Natural Gas Labor Union. He played an important role during the protests in Oman in 2011 and engaged in confrontations with the company and the government due to his activities in support of labor rights.

“Sultan Qaboos had promised political reform to calm down the angered population after last year's demonstrations. Rather than undertaking amendments guaranteeing public rights and freedoms, the Sultanate issued legislations that granted the security services broad powers to restrict freedoms, especially freedom of expression,” said ANHRI.

“The Omani authorities have to release al-Salty and undertake the reforms it has promised, and promote freedom of opinion and expression, rather than restrict activists and illegally detaining them,” added ANHRI.

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