Included in the four sentenced to up to a year in jail were an Omani writer and poet. The four were freed pending an appeal and a bail hearing. More than 30 people have been detained during the last few weeks.
The detentions arose from protests and strikes at petroleum facilities. The issues were pay and pension payments. The author was accused of holding up a sign with disrespectful text and the poet penning a poem with text that was disrespectful of Qaboos.
After protests in which some activists derided decisions on joblessness and corruption, the public prosecutor warned he would act against anyone who made statements considered defamatory. Sultan Qaboos is now the longest serving Arab head of state since Gaddafi was overthrown last year. He has been in power for 42 years. For more see this article. Qaboos promise thousands of new jobs and unemployment benefits following protests last year. Many claim those jobs and benefits have never come to be. Most revenue in Iran comes from oil.