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Oman sentences blogger for 'slander'

MUSCAT, Oman: A journalist and blogger in Oman has been sentenced to one year in prison for alleged anti-government writings in a widening crackdown on political dissent in the strategic Gulf nation.

The official Oman News Agency says Mukhtar bin Mohammed bin Saif al-Hinai was convicted on Sunday of slander and violations of media codes, but gave no further details.

Al-Hinai works at the Azzaman daily, which came under pressure last year for coverage that angered some officials in the tightly ruled nation.

In August, the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders criticized Oman for convicting 20 activists, including prominent bloggers, on charges of illegal assembly and of insulting the nation's ruler.

Oman and Iran share control of the Strait of Hormuz, the route for about one-fifth of the world's oil.

 

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