MUSCAT Dec 26 An Omani appeals court on Monday
cancelled an order to close down a newspaper that had reported
on alleged corruption within the judiciary.
The privately-owned Azamn newspaper covered a series of
corruption cases in 2014 in which several company executives
The Court of First Instance said in September the paper had
undermined the prestige of the state and disturbed public order,
ordering it be closed indefinitely and jailing three of its
journalists, following a series of reports in 2016 over alleged
cases of corruption within the judiciary.
Amnesty International said at the time it appeared the paper
was being punished for "legitimate journalistic work".
The newspaper was first closed by an administrative order
from the information ministry issued in August
On Monday, the Muscat appeals court overturned the
conviction of one reporter who was sentenced in September to a
year in jail and cut prison terms imposed on Azamn founder and
editor Ibrahim al-Mamari and his deputy and managing editor,
Youssef al-Balushi, to, respectively, six months and one year,
down from three.
Fines imposed on the two were also reduced to 1,000 rials
($2,598) each, down from 3,000 rials.
Five years ago, a court closed the newspaper for one month
and gave Mamari and a reporter five-month suspended jail
sentences for insulting the justice minister and other
($1 = 0.3845 Omani rials)
(Reporting by Fatma Al Arimi; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing
by Robin Pomeroy)