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Wed 28 Sep 2016 08:26 PM

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Oman detains judge who criticised judiciary, says rights group

Omani Human Rights Commission says Ali al-Numani, Oman's supreme court deputy, is being held in a police hospital

Oman detains judge who criticised judiciary, says rights group

Police in Oman have detained a senior judge who criticised the judiciary in a newspaper which was shut down earlier this week by court order, an Omani rights group said on Wednesday.

Ali al-Numani, Oman's supreme court deputy, is being held in a police hospital and is in good health, the Omani Human Rights Commission said in a statement.

Numani told the privately owned Azamn newspaper in an interview in August that Oman's attorney general and supreme court justice chief had "abused laws of the state".

He also apologised for the way authorities treated the newspaper, which had reported extensively on a series of corruption cases in 2014 in which several company executives were convicted.

An Omani court on Monday ordered the permanent closure of Azamn and jailed three of its journalists on charges that included undermining the prestige of the state.

A police spokesperson declined to comment on the detention of Numani.

A State Department spokesman said on Monday the United States was very concerned about the court decisions and the US ambassador had conveyed the concern to Oman's government at a senior level.

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