Oman journalist freed on bail, two colleagues still held

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES- An Omani court on Monday released on bail one of three journalists on trial for allegedly criticising the judiciary, the sultanate's human rights commission said.
The three worked for the Azaman daily, which authorities this month shut down indefinitely, drawing condemnation from international rights groups.

During Monday's hearing, the court ordered the release of journalist Zaher al-Abri on bail, the Oman Human Rights Commission said.
But Azaman's editor Ibrahim al-Maamari and his deputy Yousef al-Haj remained in custody, it said, adding the next hearing was set for August 29.
The court ordered journalists and civil society representatives to refrain from publishing details of the hearing, the government body said.
Maamari was arrested on July 28, two days after the newspaper published an article which accused public officials of corruption and interference in judicial decisions.
Authorities later detained his two colleagues.
The newspaper's website on Monday displayed pictures of the three journalists along with a short notice that publication had been suspended.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights have criticised the closure of the newspaper and the arrests.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the detention of Maamari and called for his immediate release.
Oman is ranked 125th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

Tuesday, August 23rd 2016

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