New report highlights unrelenting and severe restrictions on human rights in Oman
In its Freedom in the World Report 2023, Freedom House characterised Oman as “not free”, stating that it is a hereditary monarchy and power is concentrated in the hands of the sultan. The report further concluded that virtually all political rights and civil liberties are restricted, with criminal penalties imposed for criticism and dissent.
One of the key factors inhibiting freedom of expression and wider public participation in Oman is the prohibition on political parties and total intolerance of organised political opposition by the authorities. Article 116 of the Omani Penal Code criminalises the establishment of political parties and a 2014 law permits the revocation of citizenship for Omanis who join organisations deemed harmful to national interests.
Related to the above, on 4th June 2023, the Omani Centre for Human Rights condemned the exclusion by the Omani Ministry of Interior of several candidates from running for the upcoming elections for membership in the Shura Council in its tenth session. Among those excluded are Awad Al-Suwaifi, Majid Al-Rahili, and a former member of the eighth session, Ahmed Al-Hadabi. This