This is only a preview of unpublished case!
Oman: Artist Imprisoned for Criticizing Government
Oman, action created 27.4.2016, petition is active
Omani poet, writer, film critic and human rights defender Abdullah Habib was arrested on 15 April. He remains imprinted in Muscat without access to family or lawyers. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
On 15 April, Abdullah Habib was summoned for questioning by a special police department of the Omani internal security service. Upon his detention, Habib was denied communication with both his family and his lawyer. The Omani authorities have not yet provided a reason for his arrest. Reports from various sources indicate that his arrest is linked to his Facebook comments, in which he called on Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said to uncover whoever is responsible for those killed during the 60's and 70's uprisings.
Abdullah Habib attended a demonstration at the People's Square in Muscat on 14 May, 2011. This was part of a larger wave of protests that called for improved living standards in Oman.
Oman arbitrarily restricts its citizens' rights of freedom of expression, and has in recent years arrested and detained numerous activists and government critics under the law on public order. These individuals are often arrested under the vague basis of insulting the Sultan, and their detention period usually lasts several days.
According to information on the Facebook page "Release Abdullah Habib," which demands his release (see: Facebook page ), Abdullah Habib holds a BA (1992) in philosophy from San Diego State University, and an MA in film and cultural studies from the University of Texas (1999), as well as PhD. (2005) in the field of film criticism from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). From 2000 to 2002 he gave lectures on "Orientalism, post-colonialism and film", "Movies in the Third World," "Film and Social Change" and "Movie Genres" at UCLA and the University of Otago in New Zealand. He also directed several short films such as "Dream," "The Poet," "The Vision," "The Statue" and "This Is Not a Pipe," for which he won the 1992 film prize from the Cultural Association in Abu Dhabi.
According to this web page, Abdullah published nine collections of poems and short stories under the title "Seaweed." He also translated several film articles and essays such as "Notes on Cinema" by Robert Bresson. Habib is the author of many film studies, including his published book "Cinematic Questioning," while serving as a juror in a number of Arab film festivals. He is also a permanent member of the media committee at the Dubai Film Festival.
Amnesty International has documented cases in Oman of the arbitrary and prolonged isolation of detainees between 2013 and 2015, as well as cases of torture and other ill-treatment by state security forces during such detention. Activists and critics of the government are reported to have faced beatings, false executions, sleep deprivation and other forms of torture and ill-treatment. In recent years, Amnesty International has seen a rise in the unnecessary and excessive use of force and arrest by police against peaceful demonstrators.