Middle East

Rights groups criticize detention of journalist in Oman

Rights groups are criticizing the detention of an Omani journalist who is apparently held over an article he wrote regarding improper interference in a court case.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement early on Wednesday calling for the release of Ibrahim al-Maamari, editor-in-chief of the daily Arabic newspaper Azamn. The advocacy group says al-Maamari is being investigated on allegations of publishing "false news."

The newspaper published a blank space on its front page this week to protest al-Maamari's detention.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights says al-Maamari previously was sentenced to five months in prison in September 2011 over another article that saw the newspaper shuttered for a month. It also called for his release.

Authorities in the sultanate could not be immediately reached for comment.