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16-04-2012 - Gulfnews by Sunil K. Vaidya

Family of Indian journalist — stranded in Oman — hope for justice

Muscat The family of an Indian journalist who has been fighting a court battle for an year against his alleged unfair dismissal is stranded in Oman without visas as the English newspaper where he was employed has not renewed residence visas of his wife and two small children.

With the case pertaining to his dismissal in court, the sports journalist declined to make any comments on the case or his stranded family.

However, a close friend and a fellow journalist said that the residence visas of Hari Narayanan's wife and two children had expired a fortnight before he entered into a legal battle with the newspaper in April last year. "He had reminded administration department of his newspaper to renew his family's visa even before he was ‘unfairly' terminated on March 30," he added.

However, the visas were not renewed and the journalist's wife, a ten-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter have been stranded in Muscat since then. Hari was dismissed in March last year and filed a lawsuit against the newspaper challenging his ‘unfair dismissal' and seeking reinstatement. Friends and fellow journalists have been supporting Hari's family.

Hari and two of his colleagues from the same newspaper have approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

"We have received complaints regarding journalist's [Hari's] case and his family's visa issues," Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Riyami, the NHRC chairman, told Gulf News.

He said that the NHRC, largely an advisory body set up by the Omani government, would ensure that Hari's family would be able to stay with him at least until the verdict in his case.



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