Oman


Activists call off hunger strike



Muscat: The jailed activists who had been on a hunger strike in Samayl Central Prison for the past 15 days ended their hunger strike yesterday.

This move comes after a response from the Supreme Court, setting the date for their appeal for March 4 or March 6, Yaqoob Al Harthi, their lawyer, told Times of Oman.

Al Harthi added that the verdict in the unlawful assembly and lèse majesté charges will be announced today by the Supreme Court. "We will soon receive the official papers from the Supreme Court regarding the activists' appeal," Al Harthi said.

"The appeal of the accused went through four stages before it was submitted to the Criminal Court, for the announcement of the final verdict," stated Al Harthi.

Procedural delay
Sources said the delay in the appeals process was due to the intervention of Majlis Al Shura members, who were supposed to pay a visit to the activists.

The activists also received a response from the Supreme Court to discontinue their plea after two months of waiting for the appeal, Al Harthi told Times of Oman.

Meanwhile, some observers informed that the decision to set a date for the appeal was prompted by the deterioration in the health of some of the activists, who had to be hospitalised. Al Harthi noted that most of the activists who had gone on hunger strike, who would only drink water with salt and sugar, were fed exclusively through intravenous (IV) drips.

Up to 27 prisoners accused of unlawful assembly and lèse majesté went on a hunger strike over the last few days.

More than 50 bloggers and activists are being held in Samayl Prison and are still awaiting final judgment from the Primary Court.

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