Omani blogger on trial despite suicide bids
Amnesty International have released an urgent action alert drawing attention to the plight of Omani blogger, Muawiya al-Ruwahi. The Omani blogger was detained by security services in the UAE for having posted “offensive” messages about the Emirati authorities through social media.
In June 2015, al-Ruwahi’s mother called for the UAE authorities to provide medication to the blogger whilst he is in detention. Al-Ruwahi suffers from bipolar disorder and has told the court that whilst he has been in detention he has been denied access to his medication. He has attempted suicide 6 times whilst in detention, but despite this has not received any medical attention.
On September 15 the Omani blogger was brought before the State Security court authorities to be tried on charges of ridiculing the state and its leaders under the cybercrime law. The cybercrime law has been used a number of times since its adoption in Emirati law to prosecute activists and social reformers in the UAE. A number of bloggers and activists who have used social media have found themselves facing charges under this law as the UAE authorities aim to control and censor speech in the highly repressive country.
He was held without access to a lawyer in the notorious al-Wathba prison which has extremely poor conditions.
Muawiya al-Ruhani’s trial continues but Amnesty International have called for the charges to be dropped and for necessary medical attention to be provided.