Oman to try 27 arrested after demos

MUSCAT — An Omani court will begin trails on Monday for 27 people charged with participating in an illegal protest in the northern industrial town of Sohar, a judicial source says.

Eight of the suspects are in custody while the others had been released on bail after their arrest for taking part in violent demonstrations at Sohar, 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital Muscat in February.

The suspects have been charged for inciting violence, obstructing a highway and taking part in an illegal rally. It was not immediately clear what punishment they would face if convicted.

In early April, police announced the release of 57 protesters arrested at Sohar where a demonstrator was killed by police.

Some 234 people who were arrested immediately after the rally were granted a pardon from Sultan Qaboos and released.

However, the authorities are pressing charges against those accused of setting fire to public and private property and causing distress to state officials.

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