Omani court jails six for ‘abusive’ Internet posts

Terms range from 12 to 18 months for comments leveled at government

Tags: Oman
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Omani court jails six for ‘abusive’ Internet posts Jail terms ranged from one year to 18 months.
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 11, 2012

Six men have been sentenced to jail terms in Oman for what the presiding court called "abusive and provocative" Internet posts against the government, Reuters reported. According to activist Ahmed bin Said, who was present at the hearing, the posts criticized the government for not releasing the names of officials under investigation for corruption.

In handing down terms that ranged from 12 to 18 months, the court also fined each defendant OR1,000 ($2,600) for "violating information technology regulations".

Similar hearings are expected to give rulings on Sunday amid a continued climate of unrest thought to be spurred by last year's Arab Spring revolts.

Oman's Sultan Qaboos - in power for 42 years and now the longest-serving Arab head of state - has come under recent criticism from protesters frustrated by lack of movement on his promises for more jobs and an improved social welfare system.

Around 12 Omanis were sentenced to up to one year in jail last month for illegal gathering and some 18 people were handed similar prison terms over Internet posts deemed as "incitement" against the government and comments directed against the Sultan.

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