Media and human rights activists in the MENA region – updates

Algerian journalist Ali Djamel Toubal was sentenced to two years in prison for reporting and commenting on the anti-government protests that took place throughout Algeria in February 2019 via his Facebook account. Toubal filed an appeal on 18 June 2020.

Omani online activist Awad Al-Sawafi was arrested over a widespread Twitter post where he criticised government agencies that threaten citizens and was indicted for ‘incitement’ and the ‘misuse of social media.’ He has been released on bail pending the verdict on 16 June 2020.

Omani television and radio presenter Adel Al-Kasbi and former Shura Council member Salem Al-Awfi were sentenced to a year in prison each for allegedly, ‘using information technology to spread harm to public order.’ This is reportedly linked to their Twitter posts where they criticised the Omani authorities.

The Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, was released after serving almost four years in prison. He was jailed in June 2016 for human rights tweets, and has already served a two-year sentence for media interviews about human rights violations in Bahrain.