2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


Urgent appeals

1055. On 1st July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Dr Faiza Alani, an Australian national, who had reportedly been held at the Seeb police station in Muscat since 26 June 2002. She was allegedly being denied food, water and toilet facilities, as well as access to a lawyer. She was reportedly suing an Omani national, who claimed to be a representative of the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Omani national reportedly received a commission from the Omani Ministry of Higher Education for every foreign teacher he brought to the country and it is believed that there was never a job for Dr Alani in the UAE. In July 2001, her passport was allegedly confiscated. She was said to have been taken to an unknown location and kept there for several hours during which she was attacked before being released. On 8 May 2002, Dr Alani reportedly filed a case with an administrative court against the police. Two hearings have reportedly taken place so far. The last one was held on 24 June and was adjourned until October. When she left the court, the police asked her to go the Seeb police station in Muscat, where she has been held since the morning of 26 June.

1056. By letter dated 30 October 2002, the Government clarified that she had been arrested under the terms of an order issued by the Department of Public Prosecutions on 15 July 2001 related to a breach of the Immigration Act. It assured the Special Rapporteur that Faiza Alani had not been assaulted. The Government also indicated that she was taken to a detention facility located at the Office of the Governor of Rustaq, where she was not detained with male prisoners. It also denied allegations according to which she was denied food, water and access to toilet facilities and that she was not provided with sleeping accommodation. As for the confiscation of her passport, the Government explained that this was done to ensure that she would return to the police station after being released on bail, since no one had come to post bail on her behalf. The Government confirmed that she was taken to Seeb police station on 26 June 2002 and pointed out that this was done under the terms of the deportation decision issued on 12 March 2002. Arrangements were subsequently made for her departure from the country that she eventually left.

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small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.