Viewing cable 05MUSCAT1159
Title: QABOOS PARDONS HUNDREDS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT11592005-07-21 06:31:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MUSCAT 001159 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2015 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS KISL PINS MU
SUBJECT: QABOOS PARDONS HUNDREDS 
 
REF: A. MUSCAT 931 
 
     ¶B. MUSCAT 1132 
     ¶C. MUSCAT 1109 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard L. Baltimore III. 
Reason: 1.4 (b, d). 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (SBU) Sultan Qaboos issued a royal decree that pardoned 
hundreds of prisoners, allegedly including military officers, 
who were recently sentenced for their involvement in a secret 
and illegal Ibadhi organization.  The announcement of the 
royal pardons neither specifically referred to the military 
detainees, nor has the government ever publicly acknowledged 
their arrests.  End summary. 
 
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Royal Pardons Believed to Include Military Officers 
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¶2. (SBU) Sultan Qaboos' July 18 decree pardoned 369 prisoners 
in the runup to the July 23 celebrations of his accession to 
power.  According to Omani sources and internet chatrooms, 
about fifty convicted military officers were among those 
released.  According to these reports, the most prominent 
defendants were Air Commodore Mohammed al-Ismaily, commander 
of Royal Flight (responsible for the Sultan's air 
transportation), and Colonel Said al-Kindy, director general 
for passports and residence at the Royal Oman Police. 
 
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Security Chief Reminder 
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¶3. (SBU) General Ali Majid al-Maamari, the powerful Minister 
of the Royal Office and Oman's top security maven, released a 
statement carried in local newspapers July 19 reminding 
citizens of the Sultan's tolerance and closeness with the 
people, but underscoring that "freedom of expression does not 
mean defaming individuals or offending society."  Without 
referring to the military detainees explicitly, he urged 
every citizen to consider Oman's security as their 
responsibility, while reassuring that "personnel of security 
bodies are nationals who are keen to protect their homeland." 
 He likewise called on the public to turn a deaf ear to 
"rumors and lies." 
 
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Comment 
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¶4. (C) While the pardon of the civilians in June (ref A) came 
as little surprise, there had been considerably less optimism 
that the military officers would meet such a benign fate. 
Military personnel are generally held to a higher standard of 
loyalty.  The pardons will probably earn the Sultan popular 
praise.  Notwithstanding Ali Majid's remarks, the pardons may 
also support future calls for the speedy release of other 
critics who may run afoul of the authorities. 
BALTIMORE