Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has donated OMR10,000 to the Fak Kurbah (Redeeming Anguish) campaign, organised by the Omani Lawyers Association (OLA), to help free inmates who have been imprisoned due to unpaid debts, to allow them to celebrate Eid with their families.
The group has launched the campaign on behalf of imprisoned debtors who have run into financial problems due to difficult personal circumstances. The OLA seeks to spend a maximum of OMR5,000 per case for clearing debts after taking into account the humanitarian angle of each case. The OLA plans to close the files of as many as 625 cases, but estimates that it will need some OMR500,000 to achieve its target.
PDO's external affairs director Abdul-Amir al Ajmi, said, "PDO is a good corporate citizen and supports various initiatives and non-governmental organisations which help the disadvantaged or people in distress.
"The Fak Kurbah campaign is a noble cause that will enable a number of people languishing in custody due to unpaid debts to celebrate Eid with their loved ones. This is a time when we are reminded of the need to show generosity and compassion towards those who are suffering from misfortune and this campaign epitomises these values.
"Sometimes, people find themselves in financial trouble due to bad planning or unfortunate circumstances beyond their control. This initiative will bring them relief and even help them to make a fresh start."
A committee of more than 15 lawyers has been formed to review the files and select the cases.
The OLA has approached companies, banks, business owners, charities and private individuals to fund its effort.
This marks the OLA's second campaign, following its first programme in 2012 when it had released 44 debtors from prison.
Dr Mohammed al Zadjali, chairman of the OLA, noted, "We are grateful to PDO for their contribution and appreciate the company's support. Some of the debtors have been away from their families for up to six months after being imprisoned due to unpaid debts. So, it is important that our project succeeds.
"We hope to release hundreds of people who have fallen on hard times and the more money that we raise from benefactors, the more people we can free from custody."