Oman prisoners granted conjugal visits from spouses in historic ruling

The court ruling will grant inmates in two Oman prisons the right to times of intimacy with their spouses without the fear of being watched (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 March 2018
0

Oman prisoners granted conjugal visits from spouses in historic ruling

DUBAI: An Omani court has ruled that inmates at two prisons can have conjugal visits from their spouses in a historic decision, national daily Times of Oman reported.

The ruling, which is said to be a first for the country, will require the Royal Oman Police Service to establish “special places” in the prisons as soon as possible and to “enable the prisoner to exercise the right of legal privacy with their spouse.”

The court ruling went on to add that the prison authorities would be required to observe “the privacy of the meeting… ensuring human dignity.”

Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Zadjali, president of Oman Lawyers Association and a member of Majlis Al Shoura told the newspaper that the ruling was a “step in the right direction” improving the morale of inmates.

“It was immensely important to legalize conjugal visits in Oman, to enable a husband and wife to meet when one of them is serving a prison term. This is a prisoner’s right,” he said.

Conjugal visits allow for a prisoner – male or female – to receive a visit from their spouse in private for several hours, in a room allocated for the purposes of intimacy.
The ruling was made after a couple filed a request to the Oman appeal courts in December, 2017, in which they asked for conjugal visits every three months.
Al-Zadjali told the newspaper it remained to be seen how the order would be implemented in terms of the frequency and duration of the visits.


Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano for sick, abused, retired and rescued elephants in sanctuary along Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, December 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 8 min 26 sec ago
0

Classical piano soothes old elephants at Thai sanctuary

  • At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed

KANCHANABURI, Thailand: Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano.
For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan — old, overworked and sometimes disabled — have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi.
Almost 80 percent of about 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and are overworked, according to the animal welfare group World Animal Protection.
The animals at Elephants World get good food and treatment for their physical ailments, but the music is an extra, special treat they appear to love.
Several times a week, British classical pianist Paul Barton, 57, sets up a piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends.
“Maybe some of these blind elephants get a little bit of comfort from hearing pieces of soothing classical music occasionally,” says Barton, who studied at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.
Lam Duan approached Barton as he began to play and she appeared to calm down and focus on the music.
At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed.
The owner of the sanctuary, Samart Prasithpol, 44, said the music seemed to provide the elephants with some special comfort.
“We work here to rehabilitate the elephants physically,” Smart told Reuters.
“The use of music has been useful in rehabilitating their soul,” he said.