July 23, 2013
MUSCAT: Oman’s ruler pardoned Tuesday 14 protesters jailed for Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations in 2011 calling for more job opportunities and a greater public voice in the tightly run country.
The protests touched off a series of confrontations with authorities, including labor strikes and sit-ins.
The official Omani News Agency said Sultan Qaboos bin Said ordered the pardons to take effect Tuesday for the prisoners. Their sentences ranged from 30 months to five years.
Oman responded to the protests with some reforms such as elections for local councils that have no direct powers but will serve in an advisory role.
Strategic Oman shares control of the Strait of Hormuz with Iran. The narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf is the route for one-fifth of the world’s crude oil.
Source: The Daily Star.