Saturday, December 15, 2012

Appeals Court Upholds 'Unnecessary Verdict'

Dhofari Gucci is disappointed. If you haven't been following the news (not sure if it's even on the news yet) but Wednesday's sessions at the appeals court in Muscat proved to be a disappointment. If you remember, in July a rather large group of citizens (some of them university students) were charged with defaming His Majesty, incitement, and unlawful gatherings (Don't come to Oman! Blocking roads can lead you to prison!) and were all sentenced to jail time and fines. Anyway, they were released on bail and the final appeal session was Wednesday December 12, 2012. Unfortunately, despite the pettiness of their so-called crimes, they will all complete their jail terms.

One year in jail and a fine for slander and defaming His Majesty & so-called 'negative' writing online:

1. Ali Hilal Al Maqbali
2. Hamad Abdullah Mubarak Al Kharusi
3. Mahmood Hamad Al Rawahi
4. Mohammed Khatir Al Badi
5. Mohammed Zayed Al Habsi
6. Abdullah Salim Al Siyabi
7. Talib Ali Al Abri
8. Abdullah Mohammed Al Araimi
9. Muna Suhail Said Hardan
10. Rashid Awadh Al Badi
11. Nabhan Salim Al Hanshi

Mohammed Al Badi and Muna Hardan will go to prison after their end of term exams at college (Muna goes to Dhofar Univesity and her crime apparently is a rather stupid Facebook status update insulting His Majesty). Do I think she deserves a year in prison? Absolutely not.

Six months in jail and a fine for slander and defamation:

1. Hamoud Hamdan Al Rashdi (whose crime was holding up a pathetic banner)

Six months in jail and a fine for 'illegal gathering' (i.e. protesting on the sidewalk outside the ROP headquarters in Qurum):

1. Said Al Hashmi (Activist: Government will be happy to have him locked away for six months!)
2. Basma Mubarak Al Kiyumi (Activist)
3.  Basma Sulaiman Al Rajhi (Activist)
4. Nasser Saleh Al Ghilani
5. Abdullah Mohammed Al Ghilani
6. Bader Nasser Al Jabri
7. Mahmood Hamad Al Rawahi
8. Khalid Saleh Al Noofli
9. Mukhtar Mohammed Al Hinai
10. Mohammed Khalifa Al Fazari
11. Mahmood Mohammed Al Gamoodi

Mohammed Al Fazari will start his sentence after end of semester exams in December.

Note: (this does NOT mean that Dhofari Gucci supports irresponsible online insults and rumors, because I don't. I just feel that one year in prison is ridiculous. Oman doesn't need this right now).


  1. There are laws. They were broken. If the above Omanis were living in abject poverty and in constant fear for their lives then I could understand what was being said.

    Truth is, as a nation, you have been given a level of handouts and benefits by His Majesty that could only be described as "beyond generous".

    I say with all sincerity that Sultan Qaboos is running Oman the best way possible at this time.
    Omanis appear to be disillusioned with their place in the world and expect to be treated the same as the average European or American.
    There is still much learning to be done before you can expect that kind of life.
    One only has to look at the recent protests in a city hotel where people were given what they wanted. And then a few months later protested again for more money and benefits, even though they had agreed not to once their original demands were met.
    A lot of folks here seem oblivious to the give and take required for a democracy.
    Sultan Qaboos understands this perfectly, and is on the side of the portion of population who need to be - quite literally - protected from themselves!

  2. I agree with you. However, you do not address my main issue: should insulting His Majesty (an enlightened and blessed man) lead to one year in prison? Is that the law?
    If the law is so important,why are hundreds of prisoners released from prison by 'royal blessing' three times a year? What were their crimes? Do we want them out in society just yet?

  3. "should insulting His Majesty (an enlightened and blessed man) lead to one year in prison? "

    In my humble opinion.....yes.

    Remember, these are not just folks who came out and insulted His Majesty. These are folks who have been prodding the tiger for years. They're on watch-lists and know full well what they are doing.

    The big issue here is "incitement" - looking for others to join and march with them.

    Have a look at Egypt. What has the Arab Spring brought to them?
    Instability, protests and more violence.

    Sultan Qaboos is protecting you. Someday, you will see that.
    The alternative is a nation allowed to run riot: expecting to be paid for nothing, pushing for subsidized this and that AND running their own business at the same time. Greed!

    Someday (and long, long may it be before this day comes) you will be without His Majesty. And should the succession not go as planned...then God help Omanis after that.

    I pray for you all. I really do! You have no idea how good you have it with Sultan Qaboos. A truly great leader.
    Why?......because he knows you better than you know yourselves.

  4. Don't tell me stupid university students have been 'prodding' the tiger for years.

  5. Dear Anonym,
    How dear to this nation he is! It seems that nobody has ever realised it. Either they are not aware of the world politics like frog in the well or as you said under illusion.
    One thing is clear. He does nt want to ruin the growth he brought to the nation. APtly said, He knows people better. but people ...neither themself nor him.
    Unimaginable growth in the shortest era. Wisest plans for strong and sturdy growth.
    A truest visionary. May GOD please bless him another hundred years. IMHO, second wave is prodding the tiger or not, but stupidity to the core even after swiftly meeting all the demands. Instead of resisting, he listened; Prudent decisions made."Someday (and long, long may it be before this day comes) you will be without His Majesty. And should the succession not go as planned...then God help Omanis after that". Heart pains. - Netizen, Salalah

  6. May God Grant him health and long life! I can't even begin to imagine our country without him. He has done the unimaginable for us. However, I still think the verdict wasn't suitable. Our beloved leader is much greater than stupid people's online rants.

  7. Dg,

    The “stupid” folks you wrote about above broke the law. Violating any law has a consequence called “punishment” they were arraigned in a court of law presided by learned judges who referred to the applicable Omani penal code clauses and found them guilty. Guilty verdict leads to conviction and sentence to be served in the central jail. Please have faith in the Judiciary and its pronouncements.

    Finally YES insulting MAWLANA the SULTAN is a crime.


  8. Uncle Mti - I do agree with you. However, there is something inside me that is bothering me about this whole issue. Something doesn't feel right.

    1. Nadia
      Royal blessing cannot be granted unless the person spends the limit down of his/her guilt punishment stated in the law.

      I am totally with idea the who does wrong should get what s/he deserves.

      Remember, those who were sent to prison recently, have been practicing the same offence for long time. They were given a lot of chances to correct themselves, but they continued to do so until there were a move from the general prosecution.

  9. I believe every citizen is obliged to know the law and abide by it.
    However, I think jail sentences might have an adverse effect. Those sentenced will probably be quite resentful and be more extreme in their opinions. Their supporters outside will receive them as heroes when they get out again.
    It might have been nice if they had been sentenced earlier. I had hoped they would be pardonned then...
    But to put things slightly in perspective, also in The Netherlands, 19 people have been accused of lese-majesty in the past 12 years. Over half of them have been sentenced (mostly some fines, few jailtime). So I'm not really surprised by these sentences.

    Kind regards,

  10. The sentences do seem harsh. I suspect they're making an example of them to deter others from doing the same thing (and hence preventing future protests and unrest)

  11. Stupid young people mentioned above broke a law and I strongly agree that something should be done. However one year sentence is rediculious! .. Their names being published is punishment enough and for thoes who were extremely stupid a maximum one month jail sentence is what a person considers normal.
    Their stupidty made them fall as scab goats and I feel if (God forbid) there were any future protests, things will get pretty ugly. Egypt ugly.

    Long live His Majesty the Sultan and may he chose the right successor for the well-being of this country.

    (that was my "please dont arrest my ass" sentence!! Hahaaa)!