The family of an Indian journalist, who claims he was unfairly dismissed by his newspaper in Oman, are stranded in Muscat after his former employers failed to renew their residence visas.
The UAE daily newspaper Gulf News reported that the visas of Hari Narayanan's wife and two children have passed their expiry. Narayanan, a sports journalist, has been fighting a legal battle with the English-language newspaper he used to work for since last April on the grounds of unfair dismissal. He is also still in Oman.
"He had reminded administration department of his newspaper to renew his family's visa even before he was ‘unfairly' terminated on March 30," a friend of the journalist told the newspaper, on the condition of anonymity. “However, the visas were not renewed and his wife, a ten-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter are stranded here since then...Two weeks ago Hari's wife could not even attend the last rites of her grandmother as she doesn't have a legal status here and cannot exit Oman.”
Narayanan has contacted the Oman Journalists Association and filed an appeal for help. The press freedom group has promised assistance, both financial and legal. He has also been in touch with the Oman’s National Human Right Commission, which reportedly said it would ensure the safety of Narayan’s family until the case is over.