Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top News from Oman - June 2012

News from Oman in the later part of June from various sources.

ystery in Al Swaiq
. Last week, during a bullfight in Al Swaiq, one of the bulls unearthed a human skull from the ground. Later, more of the human skeleton was dug up by bystanders. The police were called.

Dina Al Asfer resigned from the Omani National Committee for Human Rights ('NHRC'). A statement from the Committee regarding free speech was released around that time. See: Times of Oman, 'Exercise freedom of expression with restraint, cautions NHRC'. http://www.timesofoman.com/innercat.asp?detail=6771

The Shura Council voted not to lift the immunity of council member Dr. Talib Al Mamari from Liwa. Shura members have immunity from crimes during their membership. A band of locals from Liwa had protested in favor of the immunity last month as reported by local news.

The Sultanate of Oman was featured in several international news outlets in June. Most stories centered around the oil field strike and arrest of activists. Apparently, one of those arrested works for the Ministers' Council. It's been circulating on a popular forum (as of June 28) that those arrested for gathering in groups of more than ten have been/will be released and are awaiting the verdict next month, and others who participated in more offense writings and speech towards officials will face separate proceedings and trial. Public Prosecution has issued several statements reiterating warnings against inciting and offending others under the 'pretext of freedom of speech' during June.

Washington Times, 'Briefly: Group urges Oman to free activists', http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/12/briefly-group-urges-oman-to-free-activists/
Economist, 'Waking up too', http://www.economist.com/node/21557354
Yahoo, Maktoob, 'Omani protesters demand release of rights activists', http://maktoob.news.yahoo.com/omani-protesters-demand-release-rights-activists-210135297.html

The 'khareef' or monsoon season is upon us; the Tourism Festival in Salalah opened on June 21.

The second 'Jebalstock' mountain-top concert took place on Jebel Akhdar the second week of June. Bands 50 Degrees and 123 Orion played.

Al Isra W’al Miraj, the Prophet’s Ascension, holiday was celebrated on June 16-17 this year.

Omani Coat of Arms featuring a traditional khanjar

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