Lawyers’ drive to aid release of inmates restarts in Oman

Energy Saturday 03/June/2017 22:42 PM
By: Times News Service
Lawyers’ drive to aid release of inmates restarts in Oman

Muscat: A goodwill campaign aimed at helping with the release of prisoners and those due to go to jail has been activated once again this year.
Titled ‘Fak Kurba,’ the campaign was started in 2012 by the Lawyers Committee in coordination with Supreme Committee for Judiciary and is designed help those imprisoned over
money troubles.
Since its inception, the campaign has supported many in trouble and continues to do more. “In its first phase in 2012, the campaign managed to secure the release of 44 prisoners, in 2014 it was 304, and in 2015 the figure stood at 432,” said Dr. Mohammed Al Zadjali, head of Fak Kurba, president of the Oman Lawyers Association and head of the Legal Committee at Majlis Al Shura.
Although the campaign was not initiated in 2016 because of a lack of funds, it intends to help a large number of prisoners this year. “In 2016, the project was not activated due to the economic crisis. However, we are doing it this year once again, we started the process on May 11, and started collecting funds from the second day and we will continue until July 11,” said Al Zadjali. “We focus on Ramadan because we want these prisoners to celebrate Eid with their families. We are targeting to help the maximum number of people during this Ramadan; the number is still not finalised.”
‘Fak Kurba’ is a voluntary association, which has a committee of lawyers who work together to bring a difference to the lives of people. The committee usually receives lists of people in trouble from all the courts in Oman, “There are 44 courts in Oman and we receive lists of people from these courts and then we figure out who to help, we want to help as many people as possible.
“We also get approached by individuals who are in trouble; my phone keeps ringing all the time, but then we double check their cases with the courts, just to verify. We started receiving the court lists from last week and we are still getting them.”
The committee has a maximum spending limit of OMR5,000. “We have put a maximum limit of OMR5,000, but still we didn’t touch that figure because we didn’t find a person (with such need). The maximum we have done so far is OMR2,000.”
According to Al Zadjali, a couple of days ago, several prisoners were freed in the Ad Dhahirah region with the help of ‘Fak Kurba.’ “A kind man paid for the release of these prisoners because of which we were able to clear all court lists from that region.”
Although trying to help people get back to their families once again, ‘Fak Kurba’ doesn’t assist those facing any criminal charges. “We are not considering any person involved in criminal cases. Only persons involved in labour, shariah, civil and commercial cases are considered,” Al
Zadjali added.
Although finances pose a challenge for the association, they are doing their best to make a difference. “The financial challenges are all related to the present market recession since the flow of money is less in the market and we find difficulty in raising funds.”
Donations are currently being accepted. “Donations are accepted from individuals and private companies as well. I urge everyone to donate and help with this noble cause.”