Oman court upholds sentences for bloggers

Jan. 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

MUSCAT, Oman, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- An appellate court in Oman Wednesday upheld sentences against seven bloggers convicted of insulting the country's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed.

The defendants were among 42 activists and bloggers on trial after being arrested last spring for expressing their support of striking oil workers, Gulf News reported.

The three-judge panel affirmed the convictions of five men who have been sentenced by a lower court to a year in prison and $2,600 fines.

Two men were ordered to serve 18 months in jail and pay $2,600 fines.

The sentences of two other men were reduced.

In the past two weeks, the appeals court has affirmed the sentences in 29 cases.

The 42 people were arrested in May 2012 after they gathered in Fahoud to show support for three people who had been arrested while expressing solidarity with striking oil workers.

They all face charges of wrongful gathering or insulting the country's ruler, or both.

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