OLA facilitates release of 252 prisoners this Eid
Omani Lawyers Association (OLA) said on Tuesday that 252 loan defaulters were released from prisons this Eid as part of its Fak Kurbah (redeeming anguish) campaign.
OLA had organised a fund-raising campaign during Ramadan and raised RO176,857 through individual and institutional donors for the said cause.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Dr Mohamed Ibrahim al Zadjali, chairman of the board of OLA said, “We believe that many who were put behind bars had family and loved ones to take care of. They got into financial difficulties and defaulted on loan payments. This initiative is to help such people start their lives afresh.
“The Fak Kurbah initiative believes in giving an individual a second chance in life. The Omani community believes in compassion and it has always come together for such noble causes.”
Dr Zadjali said that the initiative sees collection of money in accordance with the sultanate’s laws and regulations.
“The campaign which was launched in 2012 saw ten lawyers working on such cases leading to the release of 44 prisoners. In 2014, the second edition had 60 lawyers working across the country leading to the release of 304 prisoners.
“In 2015, OLA held three events in Muscat, Sohar and Salalah to raise awareness about the initiative. We went through case files at all courts in the sultanate leading to the release of 422 prisoners. We got second prize in the Sultan Qaboos Award for Volunteer Work for the initiative.”
Dr Zadjali said that the aim was to reach the maximum number of such prisoners this year. “We formed a committee to sort case files in courts. The highest amount paid to settle a case this year was RO2,000.”
This year, Dr Zadjali said, 30 lawyers sifted through case files across the country. “The maximum number of prisoners released were in Dhofar at 32. Of the total release, 30 per cent were expatriates.”
He said that raising money was the biggest challenge this year considering the overall economic condition in the country. “We thank the Ministry of Social Development and the Administrative Affairs Council of the judiciary for their cooperation.”