Middle East

Rights group: Oman reverses decision to close newspaper

A rights group says an appeals court in Oman has overturned a decision to close the daily newspaper al-Zaman.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights says the court also decided Monday to acquit journalist Zaher al-Abri. It says deputy editor-in-chief Youssef al-Haj received a yearlong prison sentence and editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Maamari received a six-month sentence. Both remain free pending an appeal to Oman's highest court.

Omani state media did not immediately report on the court's decision.

The case against the daily Arabic newspaper began in August after it published an article alleging corruption in a court case.

Oman has been ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970. The U.S.-based watchdog Freedom House considers Oman "not free," though it often serves as a diplomatic link for Western powers to Iran.