Association

The right to form and operate civil society organisations in Oman is governed by the Law on Associations, which requires all societies to register with and obtain the approval of the Ministry of Social Development. Civil society organisations must also notify the minister 15 days in advanced of any meeting that they plan to hold. In a context where domestic funding for human rights work is virtually non-existent, NGOs and societies must also get ministerial approval before they receive foreign funding. Those who do not comply are considered to be in contravention of the law and are can be punished with up to six months in prison. Article 134 of the Penal Code bans 'the formation of associations, parties and organisations which are against the Sultanate’s statues or social and economic systems.' Individual human rights defenders are subject to frequent harassment, and intimidation, through tactics which include travel bans, persecution through the court system and arbitrary detention.